The EU was the subject of widespread criticism last week following its row with Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. Brussels was furious when the company said it woud be unable to fulfil its delivery on vaccines to the bloc. In fact, it was suggested as little as a quarter of the agreed amount of jabs – but AstraZeneca maintained the UK’s vaccines would not be affected. Brussels chief von der Leyen then argued it was “crystal clear” that the contract required AstraZeneca to deliver doses produced in the UK to the EU to make up for a shortfall in orders.
The EU then threatened to override the Northern Ireland protocol – part of the Brexit trade deal with the UK – in order to halve the delivery of jabs into the nation.
Following international condemnation, the EU backed down – and now AstraZenaca will deliver 9million more doses to the EU than was initially agreed.
Expert on Swedish politics – Mikael Sundstrom – tells Express.co.uk that while the vaccine row hasn’t had a huge impact on Sweden’s view of the EU, Brexit will impact the country.
Britain and Sweden often aligned on key issues when the UK was part of the bloc, and Professor Sundstrom says Brexit leaves Sweden “missing” its ally.
He said: “Clearly Sweden is missing the UK more than most, because the UK and Sweden were very well aligned on a number of issues.
“Now Sweden no longer has that really powerful ally, so Sweden is missing out more than most on Britis support.
“They shared similar views on exports trade, foreign policy for example. The UK and Sweden regularly teamed up on another issues.”
In fact, Professor Sundstrom added that Sweden are “anglomaniacs” and therefore “naturally aligned” with Britain.
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He added: “We’ve been releuctant to adopt the euro because of the problems it has been suffering from – there is no question of Sweden joining the EU at this point.
“It’s a general reluctance to give up on a working currency, something spoken about in the UK as well.
Sweden does not currently use the euro as its currency and has no plans to replace the krona in the near future.
Sweden’s Treaty of Accession of 1994 made it subject to the Treaty of Maastricht, which obliges states to join the eurozone once they meet the necessary conditions.
The EU countries that do not use the euro as their currency are he countries are Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden.