Awkward Europeans? – University of Copenhagen

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Awkward Europeans?

Sweden and Denmark in the European integration process


'Author meets Critics' debate

  • Presenters: Malin Stegmann McCallion (Karlstad University) and Anders Wivel (University of Copenhagen
  • Discussants: Catharina Sørensen (Think Tank Europa) and Hans Mouritzen (Danish Institute for International Studies, DIIS)

The presentation is based on Malin Stegmann McCallion and Alex Brianson (Eds.) Nordic States and European Integration: Awkward Partners in the North? (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). The book analyzes Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland as 'awkward Europeans', i.e. states striving to participate in a region but while lacking full belonging in and commitment to the goals of that region. The book traces the historical development of these countries' relationship with EU-Europe, identifies controversial issue areas and discusses how each country has managed EU-integration in order to identify similarities and differences between the Nordic countries and to determine to which extent they may be viewed as 'awkward Europeans'.

The notion of awkward partners has only gained in prominence as BREXIT continues to cast a shadow upon the entire European project. For the same reason, the discussions about a two- or multispeed Europe, with à la carte solutions or half memberships, have again returned. Last, in these discussions – and particularly within Britain – the varied, but overall reluctant, Nordic responses to European integration have become hot objects of study.