Enlargement negotiations in 2001


On Friday, May 1, it will be five years since the “Big Bang”-enlargement of 2004, when ten countries entered the European Union.

I have written a text on the accession negotations during the Swedish Presidency of 2001, when I was a political adviser to Foreign Minister Anna Lindh. The article focuses mainly on her role and that of the Foreign Ministry, since the role of Prime Minister Göran Persson has already been described in a number of books.

From now on and during the next few weeks, you can download the text as a PDF file here:


Presently, the article is only available in Swedish. You can read it and quote from it if you wish (mentioning the source), but do not copy the full text.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any comments or questions, at matsengstrom65@hotmail.com

EU must fight discrimination


Discrimination and racism are much more present in Europe than official statistics show, according to a report from the EU Fundamental Rights Agency.

37 percent of immigrants and minorities participating in the survey said they had encountered discrimination during the past year, but few made legal complaints. Many do not trust government, the study also showed.

EU decision-makers should take the report very seriously indeed. Many government have toughened their stand on immigration during the last few years, whereas there has been too little progress in fighting discrimination and promoting the rights of people from third countries living within the EU.

Instead, current EU policies against terrorism could contribute to increased marginalisation of immigrants, as I have argued earlier on OpenDemocracy.