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Highway, Part of Scan Link, Ljungskile, Sweden


In January 1985, the Swedish government presented a plan to expand the road E6 between Uddevalla and Stora Höga to become a highway. This followed after a lobby organization called European Round Table of Industrialists (for more information, see reference 12) presented a vision of a Scandinavian Link that would stretch between Hamburg and Oslo through Denmark and Sweden.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Highway, Part of Scan Link, Ljungskile, Sweden
State or province:Bohuslän
Location of conflict:Ljungskile
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific commodities:
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The highway between Uddevalla and Stora Höga is approximately 40 km, however, the Scandinavian Link is a much larger infrastructure project involving highways, tunnels and bridges in several European countries.

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Type of populationUnknown
Start of the conflict:1984
Relevant government actors:Vägverket
International and Finance InstitutionsEuropean Round Table of Industrialists
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Motlänken (no webpage), Järnvägsfrämjandet,, Miljöförbundet Jordens Vänner (Friends of the Earth Sweden),, Fältbiologerna,, Naturskyddsföreningen,, (These are only a few of the organisations that opposed the project. In total around 100 organizations joined the resistance.)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Deaths
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Proposal and development of alternatives:The proposal from the mobilizers focused on an effort to improve the rail system instead of expanding highways.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Despite massive protests from EJOs, citizens, political parties and other organizations, Scandinavian Link was built. On top of that, over 400 activists were convicted in court for civil disobedience and the town of Ljunskile has a large highway running straight through the community.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

(12) Cowles, Maria Green. 1995. Setting the Agenda for a New Europe: The ERT and EC 1992. Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 33, No. 4, pp. 501-526.
[click to view]

(1) Petersson, Göran. 2004. En miljöhistoria: Trädkramare mot Motorväg – Petrokemi plus bilar hotar skogen.
[click to view]

(4) Trädkramarna
[click to view]

(6) Trädkramare 20-årsjubilerar (Radio program)
[click to view]

(7) Reporter Cecilia Bergil kommenterar: 'Klart han är nöjd, Gyllenhammar' (Radio program)
[click to view]

(8) Trädkramarna efter 20 år, Miljömagasinet, No. 6, 2008-02-08
[click to view]

(9) Järnvägsfrämjandet 30 år
[click to view]

(10) Hamnarbetaren, Vol. 15. No. 3, 1987
[click to view]

(11) Hamnarbetaren, Vol. 14. No. 4, 1985
[click to view]

(2) Trädkramarna firade 20-årsjubileum, Flamman, 2008-02-13
[click to view]

(5) Tillgänglighet för alla – Ett studiematerial, Miljöförbundet Jordens Vänner
[click to view]

(3) Trädkramarseminarium 20 år senare
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Linda Dubec
Last update18/08/2019
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