Sweden takes over EU presidency

Sweden will take over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 January 2023. During a six-month period, the country will lead the work of the Council, building co-operation and agreement between the member states.

The ​ Swedish presidency follows the Czech presidency and before that the French presidency. The trio of countries – France, Czech Republic and Sweden – have drafted an 18-month programme aiming at ensuring a smooth transition from one presidency to another but each country has also specific issues that need to be addressed during its presidency.

As the other countries, Sweden has also chosen a motto of three key concepts to summarize its priorities during the EU presidency: ​ 'Safer, Greener, Freer’. Security – unity, resilience – competitiveness, prosperity – green & energy transition, and democratic values and the rule of law are listed as the four priorities of the Swedish presidency.

“Sweden is taking over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union during the most serious security crisis since the Second World War,” said Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson in a message published on the Swedish EU presidency website. “The challenges facing the EU may be greater than ever before. This calls for resolve.”

Building security for EU citizens, strengthening support to Ukraine and meeting the climate transition are now crucial tasks. During the Swedish Presidency, we will also prioritise continued strong European leadership in the transition to a fossil-free economy and a clear agenda to boost competitiveness.

The Swedish Presidency will work with determination for a greener, safer, and freer Europe, for increased European competitiveness and for a strong European voice in the world. For today and for the future.”

“This Government will make Sweden’s work in the EU a top priority. It is in Sweden’s interests to maintain unity in the EU and advance issues that require joint solutions,” added Minister for EU Affairs Jessika Roswall.

As previously reported, Sweden is governed by a new minority government with Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson as Prime Minister following the elections last September. In fact, Sweden Democrats, the far-right anti-immigration party, was the winner in the elections and received 20,5 % of the votes but was formally kept outside the government.

The three coalition parties and the Sweden Democrats signed the so-called Tidö agreement, which covers domestic policy areas. The Sweden Democrats strongly influences the government’s policy from the outside as they have the same say in policy-making as the three parties in the government.

Foreign policy and European affairs were kept outside the agreement. In these areas, the new government intended to continue the policy of the previous government. However, Swedish media have reported about a secret appendix to the agreement according to which the Sweden Democrats will be consulted on EU affairs.

The first meeting during the Swedish EU presidency will be held in Kiruna, Sweden’s northernmost city, on 12 – 13 January. The Swedish Prime Minister has invited the European Commission there for talks with the Government on the priorities of the Presidency and current issues on the EU agenda.

"We’ve chosen to hold this meeting in Kiruna to showcase a unique area of Sweden – a unique region of the EU where a green industrial transition of historic magnitude is currently under way", said the Swedish Prime Minister.


Sweden's Minister for European Union Affairs and Minister for Nordic Cooperation Jessika Roswall (L) and France's Secretary of State for European Affairs Laurence Boone hold a joint press conference in Stockholm, Sweden, on November 24, 2022 on the occasion of the Swedish presidency of the Council of the European Union, starting on January 1, 2023. © BELGA PHOTO Tim ARO

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