Europe: Sweden will now be taking up the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from January 1, 2023, which was held earlier by the Czech Republic for the last six months. The presidency of the Council dynamically rotates between the European Union member states, at the time period of every six months. The president of the Council chairs meetings of the Council at every level and carries the responsibility of putting forth the agendas of the European Union.
The Sweden Presidency of the Council envisages the following projects that will be prioritized in their tenure. As Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson noted, the Swedish administration will look over four major aspects, which include, Security-Unity, Competitiveness, Green and energy transition, and Democratic values and the rule of law.
The Swedish Presidency assured continued economic and military assistance for Ukraine while assisting Ukraine on its path towards the European Union. To ensure the security of the Union, an agreement will have to be reached towards strengthening the European security and defence policy.
As the Swedish PM Kristersson stated, “Sweden is taking over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union during Europe’s most serious security crisis since Second World War. The challenges facing the EU may be greater than ever before. This calls for resolve.”
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has disrupted the safety and peace in Europe that, made millions homeless and looking for shelters. Additionally, the interruptions in the global supply chain led to skyrocketing energy prices and inflation in the economy.
At the same time, the Council will be heading towards a fossil-free economy and green transition to boost its competitiveness. The Council of the European Union looks forward to a European future that is totally self-reliant in terms of energy. In the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War, energy supplies continued to remain a major challenge towards the energy security of the continent.
Therefore, resorting to renewable and sustainable forms of energy will end Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels for energy. Moreover, it will also help in the mitigation of climate change as the Council moves ahead with an agenda of De-carbonisation.
On the digital front, the Council would be working towards the development of the latest technology, the introduction of EU eID and digital wallet, EU Data Strategy and Data Act. Further, the advancement of digital infrastructure and connectivity will be looked after under the Swedish presidency. The Council will be aiming to strengthen cyber security to ensure the data safety and privacy of the citizens.
“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, concluded Kristersson.