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


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.


SAP, europeanisation, referendum, euro, compartmentalisation

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