For the better part of the twentieth century, Sweden has successfully combined capitalism and a strong social democratic welfare state. Swedish trade politics have traditionally been open and anti-protectionist. Sweden has been pragmatic and efficient in importing and making use of technical innovations and new cultural trends, not least from the USA. Swedes, however, have been much more wary of international influences which could challenge the existing welfare-state model. This may explain the hesitancy towards the project of the European Union. When Sweden entered the EU in 1995, the nation was clearly divided and in a referendum in September 2003 a majority of the Swedes voted against entering the European Monetary Union.