Sweden’s Moderate Party was given the go-ahead to try and form a new government, despite coming third in last week’s elections.
The leader of the country’s centre-right party, Ulf Kristersson, will try to enter a coalition with the Liberals and the Christian Democrats.
But the big question on everyone’s lips is what role the far-right Sweden Democrats will play. The party came ahead of the Moderates, in second place during Sweden’s election on September 11.
With climate change denial and a strong anti-migrant stance, the Sweden Democrats could push to override the policies of the outgoing centre-left government.
“(Even) if they are a parliamentary backing outside of the government, that it will still give them quite a substantial veto power over policies that are pursued by the government,” said Göran von Sydow, Director of the Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies (SIEPS).
Experts believe that the Sweden Democrats will not only attempt to influence policies at home but also at the EU level.
“They are a Eurosceptic party, which means that they are reluctant that any other issues become part of the European decision-making when they are deemed to be better dealt at the national level. But, also in the big issues, we are facing – such as climate, and the environment – they are perhaps less ambitious. They have been less outspoken when it comes to issues of rule of law, and they are very skeptical about giving more room to social policy and those kinds of issues at the European level,” said Von Sydow.
There is consensus, however, among all parties in Sweden that it should join NATO and maintain its alignment with the EU regarding Russia and the war in Ukraine.
But when the Stockholm government assumes the presidency of the Council of the EU from January 2023, it could have an extra far-right ally in Italy which will hold elections on September 25.