Sundelius, Bengt. (1993) "Understanding European Integration: A Decision Making Approach". In: UNSPECIFIED, Washington, DC. (Unpublished)
[From the Introduction]. The recent shift in Swedish policy toward the European Community forms the empirical focus of this paper. Traditionally, the official Swedish position has been that membership of the Community would not be compatible with the long standing Swedish security policy based on the doctrine of no alliances in peace aiming for neutrality in the case of war. As late as in May 1990, the then Prime Minister lngvar Carlsson articulated this restrictive government position in an authoritative article in the leading Stockholm daily. In October 1990, the government, as part of an economic reform bill, declared its ambition to join the Community as soon as the contextual circumstances would allow. In December, this position was reaffirmed in a parliamentary declaration, which also shifted the wording from ambition to intent. During the spring of 1991, an internal Foreign Ministry group examined the potential membership issue in great depth. On June 14, the Prime Minister read to Parliament a statement outlining a new government policy on the membership issue. On July first 1991, an application for membership was submitted to the Chair of the Council of Ministers of the Community in the Haag. Following the September 1991 election defeat of the Social Democratic government, the Conservative party leader, Carl Bildt, assumed the position of Prime Minister. In his October 1991 cabinet declaration to the new Parliament, he reaffirmed the Swedish intent to seek membership of the EC. On February 1, 1993, formal negotiations commenced in Brussels. This remarkable policy transition represents one of the most fundamental shifts in Swedish postwar foreign policy. How this national decision in favor of participation in European integration can be explained is the subject of this paper. Such an examination would seem to be a prerequisite for any understanding of the impact of a potential future Swedish role inside the European Community. It remains today an open question if the then crucial decision to apply for membership, which is analyzed here, will in fact lead to Swedish membership of the European Community, turned European Union following the still pending ratification of the Maastricht Treaty.
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