Sweden Riksdag approves anti-terrorism constitutional amendment in quest to join NATO
© WikiMedia (Holger.Ellgaard)
Sweden Riksdag approves anti-terrorism constitutional amendment in quest to join NATO

The Swedish Riksdag Wednesday adopted a constitutional amendment regarding anti-terrorism – a key demand from Turkey in Sweden’s quest to join NATO.

The amendment passed with 278 votes in favor out of a 349-seat parliament and makes it easier to introduce laws to limit the freedom of association for those who engage in or support terrorism. The Riksdag standing committee on constitutional affairs recommended approval of the proposal, claiming it will enable more criminal measures which will counter participation in terrorist organizations. The new amendment also includes provisions allowing the government to better target financial crimes in relation to terrorist activities.

The amendment comes as Sweden’s application to join NATO comes under review. Turkey has been strong source of opposition to Sweden joining the organization, claiming the nation is a haven for terrorists. In a joint press conference last week between Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Kristersson promised that “Sweden will take big steps by the end of the year and early next year that will give Swedish legal authorities more muscles to fight terrorism.”

Wednesday’s vote is the second vote in favor of adopting the amendment. Constitutional amendments in Sweden must pass the unicameral Rikstag during two successive terms. The first vote in favor occurred in April, before Sweden formally announced its bid to join NATO in May.