Swedish political parties support Nordic research cooperation

12.09.2014
With the Swedish national elections right around the corner, we asked the eight political parties represented in the parliament about their views on Nordic research cooperation. All of the five parties that responded had a very positive attitude towards such cooperation, and recognise the potential in coordinating research activities across national borders.

NordForsk asked: What is your party’s view of Nordic research cooperation, and Does your party have any special focus areas with regard to knowledge transfer in the Nordic region? Unfortunaly, we couldn’t reach The Centre Party, The Christian Democrats, or The Green Party.

 

The Left Party Vänsterpartiet

- Small countries have much to gain from collaborating on research questions, and we must continue to develop cooperation – especially within the framework of the Nordic Council. Students must also be given good opportunities for mobility across national borders. The Swedish student funding rules for study abroad will be revised as from 2015, but they have still not been adapted to accommodate differences in the cost of housing and living in different countries. This makes it difficult, for instance, to manage for students with funding from Sweden to live in Norway, where the cost of living is higher. This needs to be changed.

Rossana Dinamarca, Left Party.

 

The Liberal Party Folkpartiet

- Stated briefly, the Liberal Party of course regards Nordic research cooperation as important. The focus must be on what creates Nordic value added. This may entail expensive, large-scale research infrastructure investments that are difficult for a single country to carry by itself, but it may also involve more narrow research areas in which one country finds it difficult to achieve a critical mass.

Tina Acketoft, Liberal Party

 

The Moderate Party Moderaterna

- The New Moderate Party takes a positive view of Nordic cooperation on research. We believe that research cooperation can be an effective tool for raising the quality of Nordic research and thus also enhancing research quality at the national level and, in a broader perspective, at the European level as well. However, we think it is important to focus on cooperation that has clear value added for the Nordic region. Research infrastructure and registry-based research are examples of areas where we as a party believe that cooperation gives precisely such added value. But of course it is up to the university, university college, research institute or research funder to determine when cooperation at the Nordic level will be beneficial.

Betty Malmberg, New Moderate Party

 

 

The Social Democratic Party Socialdemokraterna

- We are firm believers in Nordic and Arctic research cooperation. Unfortunately, the Swedish Government has taken a negative approach to Nordic research cooperation, and has among other things closed down the Nordic School of Public Health, which served as a meeting place for public health research and education for 60 years.

Sweden is to be a prominent nation in polar research and other issues involving the Arctic. Cooperation makes it possible for the Arctic region to benefit from higher education and strengthens research addressing climate issues in particular.

Moreover, there are ideas for promoting shared research initiatives between Nordic research centres that may be of interest to study more closely.

A recurrent theme in all our proposals involving cooperation is that we should make the greatest possible use of best practice. A very appropriate area in this regard is education, where the Government has actively said no to increasing knowledge exchange even though Sweden demonstrates the poorest performance in the Nordic region in most surveys. We know that knowledge exchange benefits the entire region in all sectors. If the Nordic region is to remain resilient in the future, we will need a well-developed collaboration to create new jobs.

Cooperation between the Nordic countries extends across all areas of society, and Nordic collaboration is in many ways unique in an international context. Cooperation and transparency have made the Nordic region a world-class welfare region. We are the party that most actively seeks to strengthen Nordic cooperation, as we know that working together yields many positive benefits for Sweden.

Karin Åström, Swedish Social Democratic Party. Member of the Riksdag and President of the Nordic Council

 

The Sweden Democrats Sverigedemokraterna

- NordForsk is under the direction of the Nordic Council of Ministers and seeks to support Nordic research in areas where the Nordic countries are strong, which we think is an excellent concept. We are very positive towards Nordic cooperation in general, as well as Nordic cooperation on research. In our view, more emphasis could ostensibly be placed on Nordic research and somewhat less on research cooperation within the EU, which is much more extensive. The research areas that NordForsk focuses on are also extremely important.

We have worked to strengthen Nordic cooperation in general, especially in the area of defence. Unfortunately, we have not managed to extend our thinking to knowledge transfer yet. This is definitely an area that we will look at in the future. We favour increased cooperation on research and knowledge transfer among the Nordic countries, and not just the one-sided focus on cooperation within the EU framework that the Government promotes. 

Carina Herrstedt, Swedish Democratic Party

 

 

Written by: Linn Hoff Jensen and Ewa Preston

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