Europeanisation and the Split in the Swedish Social Democratic Workers' Party: The cause of the Swedish Rejection of the Euro?

  • Lucie Tunkrová
Keywords: SAP, europeanisation, referendum, euro, compartmentalisation


The impact of EU norms and practices (Europeanisation) on the Social Democratic Workers' Party (SAP) in Sweden predominantly manifests in the growth of intra-party competition. In reaction, the party has compartmentalised to separate the new divide over European integration from the more traditional divisions. This means open toleration of the divergence between top representatives' views on Europe. Subsequently, major issues are decided not in elections, but in referenda. This approach allows it to retain some voters who disagree with the official party line on the EU. The party used this strategy for the Euro referendum in September 2003. However, the split in the party leadership became a key factor in the rejection of the common currency. The SAP failed to convince its voters, whose vote was decisive. The inconsistency of prominent party members' statements during the campaign showed that even fully established political parties must face up to Europeanisation as an impending divide.

Author Biography

Lucie Tunkrová