As part of The Perspective op-ed series on all Swedish parliamentary parties, this text is a contribution by the Centre Party’s two MEP’s Fredrick Federley and Abir al-Sahlani, and does not necessarily reflect the views of UPF Lund and The Perspective.

The Liberal values are threatened from many directions in today’s politics. We have to stand strong in our opinions and fight against those that oppose the liberal democracy.

Swedish foreign affairs should stand up for the liberal values that have created our well-being: all people’s equal values and rights, independent judiciary, free enterprise, free trade and international cooperation based on international law. Our foreign politics should not only secure the lives and health of the population but also protect the democratic foundation of our society. We cannot forget that in many ways the world has become a better place to live in. The extreme poverty is decreasing, more women survives pregnancies and childbirth, children are in school longer, free trade increases and elevates countries out of poverty and so we become more dependent on each other. But we cannot take the liberal values for granted as we have learned during the last couple of years only by looking at other European countries. 

Abir al-Sahlani: The international work for me involves social affairs, civil liberties, human rights and justice. I want to make sure that all people have the liberty to make their own choices when it comes to whom they love and who they want to be, and have the law on their side in doing so. Without having to experience racism and discrimination. This may look like fundamental basic human rights, but we must never take it for granted. We are currently witnessing how many countries not even that far from us are taking actions that are dangerously jeopardizing human rights. We need to continue the fight against discrimination, racism and sexism, make democracy accessible to everyone and get an international migration policy in place that is humane. The right-wing nationalist party’s all over Europe are spreading hate and it’s time that the European Union put their foot down and show that solidarity among us is the only way forward. Everybody has the right to be part of a future where we all are valued and have the right to express opinions without being harassed or silenced. 

Fredrick Federley: Issues regarding the environment, agriculture, animal welfare and public health will always be my top priority in foreign politics. Climate change is in fact one of our times greatest challenges and one of the biggest threats to our societies. It is crucial that we act now; that we invest in renewable energy and support countries and sectors that are lagging behind in green transformation with the common aim to have a European Union that is climate neutral by 2050. Important tools in reaching that goal is the green deal and the upcoming European climate law, where we will see a number of legislative actions spanning over a number of sectors such as transport, energy, construction and industry. The green economy will in turn make Europe prosperous while boosting new technology, new sectors and new jobs. It is my firm belief that we, step by step, will get there. 

What We are fighting for and will always fight for are the liberal values that has shaped today’s foreign policy; to stand up for civil and human rights. Human rights, equality, environmental issues and public health are all interconnected in our societies and need to be high up on the agenda for the future to come in foreign policy.

Fredrick Federley & Abir Al-Sahlani, Members of
the European Parliament