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Oct 292009

Previous post on this blog discussed pros and mostly cons of a deepened Nordic cooperation within EU (including two non-members). But there are those who want to go further. In a recent article in DN (SW) which drew a lot of attention, the author calls for a a revival and extension of the Union of Kalmar (1397) by creating a federation of the five Nordic countries. Such a federation, writes the author, would be the 10th biggest economy of the world, well before Russia or Brazil. The Danish Queen, Margarethe, should be Head of State, like her namesake Margareta from the 15th Century.The article was taken seriously enough to be taken up in an editorial in the same newspaper which tells about “many enthusiastic and positive reactions” from its readers. DN does not tell about any reactions from Norway or Denmark (or from the Bernadotte dynasty).

The Kalmar Union has largely negative connotations in Sweden (and probably also in our neighboring countries) and led to two centuries of upheaval and civil war situations culminating in the rebellions of Engelbrekt, Karl Knutsson and finally Gustav Wasa who once and for all (?) secured Swedish independence.

We have to take this discussion  in a humorous vein with a serious undertone concerning the need for and desirability of increased contacts and cooperation between those countries which historically have so much in common. (But DN points out that accentuating a common culture can also be seen as “an unpleasant wink towards blondness and blue eyes.”)

Any formalized coordination between the Nordic countries risks having a negative impact on the wider cooperation since smallest common denominators must be found among countries which are quite different or at least have different ambitions for their EU membership.  This despite common language and culture. Problems would be compounded, of course, if non-members should have an influence. The same obviously goes for other sub-regional groupings.

(Anyone amused by historical parallels might of course point out that the original Kalmar Union was created to get rid of the German prince Albrecht of Mecklenburg.  His role in a new Kalmar Union would presumably be played by Ms. Merkel and Mr. Sarkozy.)

  One Response to “Back to 1397!”

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