Europe 1991: a Scandinavian perspective
Throughout Scandinavia, one hears talk of political malaise and lack of trust in the government. Finland faces gloomy economic prospects. The Swedes are dissatisfied with the Social Democratic government's tax, industrial, and social policies. Looking eastward, most Scandinavians no longer consider the Soviet Union a military threat and are sympathetic to but deeply concerned about the crisis in that country. Many believe that the Soviet Union should be integrated into Europe and envisage sharply focused, modest assistance programs. Looking westward, Sweden has applied for membership in the Economic Community (EC); the Finns and Norwegians see the economic advantages of joining, but remain ambivalent. Finnish policymakers hesitate to relinquish unilateral control over relations with the Soviet Union that joining the EC would involve. Scandinavians assume consensual conflict-resolution patterns in Europe but count on NATO and the presence of U.S. forces to provide European security. Finally, they continue to prize their relationship with the United States.