Sweden’s foreign policy gets high score by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), a pan-European think tank. Before Sweden joined the European Union, in 1995, its foreign policy was often described as active and independent. Has it lost its sting since entering the EU?

Well, not according to the ECFR. It is the second time ECFR takes a closer look at the union’s relations with the rest of the world in order to find out how Europe is doing in general, but also how the countries are doing independently. Compared to the three big countries France, Germany, and England – all of whom are ascribed leading positions in 19, 18, and 17 areas – Sweden does exceptionally well with a leading position in 11 areas; like “relations with Russia on protracted conflicts”, “rule of law, democracy and human rights in the eastern neighborhood”, and “climate change”.


In general, Sweden gets high scores in crisis management and multilateral issues. Actually Sweden only failed in one area, and that is in “reciprocity in access to public procurement in Europe and China”.

Political expert José Ignacio Torreblanca commented on ECFR’s inspection for the Spanish newspaper El País, and added that he was impressed by Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt (as well as by Poland’s Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski). Torreblanca drew the conclusion that domestic and foreign policies are connected, Poland and Sweden are among the countries that have pulled themselves out of the financial crisis in the best ways possible.
Watch Sweden’s scorecard here:
European Foreign Police Scorecard 2012 - Sweden