Having planned this year's election campaign with a focus on the EU and its importance for Sweden, the Swedish Liberal Party appears to be ready for the next step. A bill recently introduced for consideration in the Swedish parliament by Liberal MP Joar Forssell, the chairman of the Liberal Youth, seeks to make Sweden part of a "United States of Europe".
According to the bill, the Swedish parliament should work to convert the EU into a full-fledged federation, where all cross-border decisions are taken together.
In the bill, Forssell described EU cooperation as a "guarantor of peace across Europe", which also "made societies richer and strengthened human rights". After Brexit, he claimed, the support for the union is "stronger than ever". However, Forssell argued, the EU's future is under threat from "nationalist forces", unless it undergoes reform.
"When the UK voted to leave the EU, many predicted a domino effect, which never came. Instead, the result is that support has increased and more than ever believe in our European cooperation. At the same time, Europe's population is critical of how the Union functions today, and calls for reforms to further strengthen cooperation," Forssell wrote, identifying migration, crime and climate issues as the three areas that need collaboration the most.
Some of the solutions proposed in the bill include a common external border, a responsible asylum policy and a "European FBI". Likewise, the EU's common decision-making should become more "transparent". "It doesn't work when individual governments can block majority decision-making," Forssell wrote.
In what he described as "making the right decisions at the right level", certain powers should be removed from national governments and vested with a two-chamber European Parliament, with one house appointed by member states and the other directly elected by popular vote. Forssel described these steps as "making the EU more democratic".
In an interview with the news portal Nyheter24, Forssell drew parallels with the US or Germany, where individual states have anthems, football teams and other features of their own.
"I myself root for Bajen [slang for the Hammarby club] more than I do for team Sweden," Forssell said, adding that the Swedish monarchy will be abolished, whereas King Carl XVI Gustaf may run in EP elections, if he feels like it.
The Liberals, formerly known as the People's Party, are currently the seventh-largest party in the Riksdag. In their early days, they claimed to support a "free economy with social responsibility" and later became staunch EU supporters.