The Prime Minister speaks about the future of Europe in Uppsala

Today, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven held a speech titled ‘Our Europe – our shared responsibility’ at Uppsala University. The speech was a contribution to the debate on the future of Europe that is currently under way.

Stefan Löfven
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven held a speech titled ‘Our Europe – our common responsibility’ at Uppsala University. Photo: Victor Svedberg/Government Offices of Sweden

Financial and migration crises, increased unemployment and security concerns have led to more people losing confidence in the EU and the ability of policy to solve real problems when they arise. In today’s speech, the Prime Minister indicated what future developments he would like to see, and why.

“The EU is beginning to lose its leading position in the global competition. We are no longer the largest market, and we are not always the leading foreign policy actor that we could be either. We must change this by focusing on delivering solutions to the challenges we face today. This is about more and better jobs, a sustainable migration policy, security for the citizens and leading climate efforts,” says Mr Löfven.

In his speech, Mr Löfven particularly highlighted the importance of the EU being at the forefront of creating new jobs and increasing growth, for example by deepening the single market and negotiating more trade agreements. He also emphasised that the EU must also ensure that working conditions are favourable and that competition is healthy and fair.

These are issues that will be discussed at the upcoming summit in Gothenburg on 17 November, where EU leaders will discuss how to create new jobs, how to create fairer competition in the EU and how adjustment possibilities for EU citizens can be improved. The question of how the European labour market can be more efficient and fair is central to the future of the EU and it is a great achievement for Sweden that these issues are now being discussed at the highest EU level.

The Prime Minister also said that the EU must lead climate efforts, do more to guarantee the safety of its citizens and that much still remains to be done to achieve a sustainable and responsible migration system. The efforts to reduce the number of displaced people has had an impact, but this must be combined with every country taking its responsibility for refugees.

The Prime Minister also stressed that all countries in the EU must live up to the values that the EU stands for, abide by decisions taken jointly and not shirk from our common responsibility.

“When we do the right things and focus on delivering solutions to the problems that people see, there is great strength and potential in EU cooperation,” says Mr Löfven.