Martin Wolf, the chief economic editor at the Financial Times with a past at the World Bank, wrote in 2004 that economics should trump politics. Otmar Issing, one of the founders of the EMU, wrote recently that it would not be a good thing if economics trumped politics in the EU and therefore led to a forced fiscal union.
On a smaller scale we find today the discussion on how the "Alliansen" in Sweden should work in the future according to PJ Anders Linder at the Svenska Dagbladet today. Per Schlingman, the former party secretary of the Moderates, speaks for more integration in the four party "Alliansen". Other spokespersons for the other parties think there should remain fragmentation.
PJ Anders Linder advocates an open discussion on the issues of what the so called "borgeliga", ie the four right-of-center parties in Sweden, should have as a program. What I miss in order to start thinking about this problem is the axiom. It is going well for Sweden right now. It would therefore be tempting to think that Sweden should carve out it own path in the world. However, with two percent of the people in the EU, is Sweden not just an interesting example rather than the way to go for the rest?
Another way to start would be to assume that harmonization with the EU should be attempted with a fusion of the two liberal parties and also the Christian Democrats and the Moderates, to match the divisions in the EU parliament, ALDE and EPP, respectively. The problem is that EU does not seem to work right now and therefore it might be better for Sweden to harmonize with one of the main countries in Europe, like the UK or Germany.
In the early modern era of 1500 to 1700 England took the lead and formed the Anglo-American dynasty that is still around today. I firmly believe in its further success. This dynasty differed from the earlier ones in Europe, China, and India by being based on a new liberal philosophy and science, property rights and an efficient economic organization. It is still the best there is and adapting the school system in Sweden to move closer to the core is probably the best way forward.
However, it is not easy for the Swedes to make the above choice. There is the German Fourth Reich and then there is China. Many people today make an error judging the success of China's politics. So far they have not shown that a full size country can get GDP per capita values close to those of the Western nations. Transferring to Chinese ways might mean lowering the standard of living. I believe freedom matters.