Two months left until Sweden’s Presidency of the Council of the EU

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It is now less than two months until Sweden takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. During the first half of the year, Sweden will chair some two thousand meetings at various levels in the Council of the EU and drive the EU’s agenda forward.

“We have a unique opportunity to be involved and make progress on issues that are of great importance to us,” says Lars Danielsson, Ambassador at the Permanent Representation of Sweden to the EU in Brussels.

Sweden will take over the Presidency of the Council of the EU on 1 January 2023 and will lead the work in the Council during the following six months. Planning ahead of the Presidency is currently under way, including at the Permanent Representation of Sweden to the EU in Brussels, where some 200 people are involved in the preparations.

“We are studying all the details of the many legislative matters that are under way and learning what holding the Presidency involves,” says Mr Danielsson.

The Presidency has two main tasks: planning and chairing meetings in the Council and its preparatory bodies, and representing the Council in its relations with other EU institutions.

It’s been nearly 14 years since Sweden last held the Presidency. Lars Danielsson believes that holding the Presidency can be a good way to give something back to the other Member States.

“We have a unique opportunity to be involved and make progress on issues that are of great importance to us, such as the climate, energy, migration and security. Now is our chance to show that we truly are good Europeans, while we continue to be good Swedes,” says Mr Danielsson.

During the six months that Sweden holds the Presidency, the Government and the Government Offices will chair many of the meetings held in the Council of the European Union. In all, this involves some 2 000 meetings in Brussels and Luxembourg, and some 150 informal meetings and conferences in Sweden.

The current situation around the world is challenging, and an important part of the preparations is to be prepared to deal with unplanned events.

“The aggression against Ukraine is still going on and will very likely continue during our Presidency. We have soaring energy prices and there is a risk of an economic downturn that may present problems. We must be able to deal with these issues, while also moving the ordinary work forward. So it will be a challenge, but I’m convinced that we’ll manage it well,” says Mr Danielsson.

Short about the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU

The 2023 Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU will last from 1 January until 30 June, after which Spain will take over. Sweden has held the Presidency of the Council twice before: in 2001 and 2009.