Motion on the SwedLit, Swedish – Baltic power cable

Motion to the Nordic Conservative Student Union (NKSU) by the FMSF, Sweden. The motion was adopted at the NKSU Annual Meeting in Lund, July 12, 2009.

Since a few years back there is a plan to link the integrated Nordic energy market to the Baltic States through an underwater power cable from south-eastern Sweden to Lithuania (SwedLit). This project has been sanctioned by governments on both sides of the Baltic Sea and will hopefully be reality in a few years.

The main aim of building the cable is to promote trading between Baltic and Nordic electricity markets and also to increase the security of power supply in both markets. The cable will also lead to a more diversified energy market in Baltic States and decrease the dependency on energy from Russia. Furthermore the cable can make it possible for Lithuania to close the current nuclear plant at Ignalina as has been agreed with the EU when Lithuania became an EU-member.

There are in our mind only positive effects of building the cable, and we therefore thought that no serious political forces on either side of the Baltic Sea would be against the cable, making it a non-issue. Now we are not so sure any more. The Swedish opposition leader Ms Mona Sahlin, leader of the Socialdemocrat party, has apparently turned against the project. In several interviews during the spring she has criticized the project and claimed to be against it altogether. Her argument is that Sweden should not export energy since it might lead to higher prices in Sweden, a hypothesis for which there is no evidence to support. We suspect that her newfound resistance to the cable project has more to do with the domestic problems caused by the Social democrats forming an alliance with the Green party and the Left party, both of which want to shut down all Swedish nuclear power plants in the near future, which probably is the only way in which the ridiculous policy of energy protectionism would make some sense.

The protectionist views of the Socialdemocrats are problematic in several ways. It is a lack of solidarity, bad for the environment and negative for the economy. The signal that they are sending is that the Baltic States should stay out of the Swedish energy market, which would leave them in a potentially dangerous situation with heavy dependency on energy from Russia, a source obviously not to rely on.

We, the Nordic Conservative Students, are concerned about the turn of the debate concerning the project to link the Nordic and the Baltic energy market through an underwater cable. We feel that it is very important that the project is realized.

We therefore;
– state our firm support for the project of linking the Nordic and the Baltic energy markets

– encourage the concerned governments to as soon as possible start the project with building the cable (SwedLit)

– sharply criticize the Socialdemocrats in Sweden for their protectionist views on energy and their lack of support for the SwedLit project.