Disillusionment With EU Grows as Swedish Support Slumps By 30%
by Egbert Nobakon, 18 April, 2016
As Swedish voters turn against the EU in huge numbers and the Brexit vote looms, has the bureaucratic empire run out of time (Image Source)
As the UK's EU in / out referendum looks increasingly likely to result in an 'out' vote, many European Union offociala and political leaders now fear a domino effect in the event of Britain voting to leave, with more and more member states deciding they benefits of surrendering national sovereignty to unelected bureaucrats in Brusels do not warrant the loss of independence. Such fears have increased today, with the release of a new poll suggesting a dip of almost a third in support for Sweden's membership of the European Union.
The poll — which was commissioned by Swedish public broadcaster SVT — revealed that just 39% of Swedes consider their country's membership of the EU to be a "good idea." That is in stark contrast to similar polling towards the end of last year, where a comfortable 59% backed the EU. Sweden has previously been one of the nations where citizens' support for the EU was most solid.
This huge shift has been attributed to a variety of factors, but the continued refugee crisismeteoric rise of migrant related crime is almost certain to have played a major role.
Whilst the influx of refugees seeking asylum in Sweden has met with mixed feelings from Swedes, there is a growing sense amongst many older people that they have been unfairly burdened with what the Prime Minister called "an unreasonably large responsibility in comparison with other countries in the EU."
Sweden's original pledge to take in 54,000 refugees from Hungary has since been dwarfed by the ever increasing numbers of people arriving illegally in mainland Europe from north Africa and the mioddle east Some of these are genuine refugess fleeing conflict zones but most are economic migrants. Sweden took in more refugees per capita last year than any other EU member state, and continues to have one of the highest populations of refugees in proportion to its own.
This is not the first time that Sweden's actions have worried supporters of European Union expansionism though. Earlier this year the country reinstated border checks in an attempt to control the unmanageable numbers of refugees entering the country. That action poses a potential threat to the Schengen Agreement which allows free movement across European borders, and could erode the extent to which member states feel bound by the authority of EU law.
Added to recent refusals to enact benefit cuts for migrant workers in countries like the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, supporters of a united Europe are beginning to fear that the sands of public opinion are shifting.
The cracks in the EU edifice are beginning to grow, but if the UK's referendum results in the Union's second largest economy heading for the exit door, the whole thing might just cave in. Likewise though, if Britain votes to remain, these impending Eurosceptic storms could still pass - providing the bureaucrats can find a way to deal with the throng of lawless, illiterate migrants arriving because they have heard stories about European governments handing out free money.