We live in a globalized world where people travel and move between countries and where international trade is a given fact. Since the United Kingdom triggered Brexit, the vast majority member states who are not yet part of the euro zone have expressed their willingness to join. If Sweden does not do the same we will within a few years stand on our own outside of the euro zone, with our only partner being Denmark. Since such an exclusion would be harmful both for our economy and political influence in the EU, Sweden should join the euro by 2022 at the latest.
The practical benefits of the euro are invaluable for the citizens traveling abroad or who are shopping online in other EU countries. With a single currency, it will also be easier for Swedish enterprisers to do business in other member states, since we will avoid exchange fees and fluctuations in exchange rates. Because the truth is that having the Swedish crown causes substantial additional costs, especially for small and medium-sized businesses that largely trade with the rest of the EU.
But joining the single currency is about more than just the financial benefits. It is also about what kind of EU we want to see in the future. I want to see a united EU with closer cooperation and fewer barriers between the member states. That all countries, including Sweden, have the euro is a necessity to achieve this.
The costs for Sweden to stand outside of the euro zone are far too high, both from a political and economical perspective. Politically, Sweden is moving further away from the EU’s core by not joining the euro zone.
In order for Sweden to retain its influence in the Council and the other institutions of the EU, we must introduce the euro, because it is in the euro zone circuit that the significant economic policy work takes place. In economic terms, we get a more stable exchange rate, with an improved cost situation and increased trading and investment.
The economic arguments for why Sweden should stand outside of the euro co-operation are not valid any longer. Since the introduction of the euro, the Swedish Central Bank and the ECB’s interest rate policy have been essentially identical. The challenges that the euro has faced have largely been resolved by introducing heavy reforms such as the Euro Plus Pact, the Financial Pact and the Banking Union, whose purpose is to strengthen the euro zone’s common rules and to ensure greater stability in the banking system.
Sweden is a small, trade-dependent economy. If we want to preserve our position on the international arena, it is time to change to the currency that more than 335 million citizens use every day.