Sweden's right-wing shift creates uncertainty around 1% ODA/GNI commitment

The right-wing bloc won Sweden’s general elections on September 11, 2022 narrowly defeating Social Democratic Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson’s progressive center-left coalition by three seats.

Negotiations are underway to form a center-right government headed by the Moderate Party, in coalition with the Sweden Democrats, Liberals, and Christian Democrats. The Sweden Democrats are also poised to hold greater sway in shaping the future of Swedish politics, given the party’s popularity during the elections.

Since 1975, the Swedish government has exceeded the UN’s 0.7% ODA/GNI target with a commitment to spending at least 1% of its GNI on ODA. While foreign affairs and development policy only featured tangentially in the election campaign, the election outcome could have a major impact on Sweden’s future ODA priorities and budgets.

The two largest parties in the right-wing bloc – the Sweden Democrats and Moderates - both challenged Sweden’s 1% ODA/GNI commitment, proposing cuts in ODA to 0.7% of GNI while promising a more nationalist approach to international cooperation.

While the 1% target retains strong support from the Social Democrats, the Green, Centre, Liberal, Christian Democratic, and Left parties, the strong combined showing of the Sweden Democrats and Moderates casts doubt on the target's future.

News article - CNBC