In January 2023, Sweden takes over the presidency of the Council in a crucial time for Europe. Will Sweden be able to deliver on the Green Deal and conclude the negotiations on key legislation?
The most important issue for the Swedish presidency will of course be to secure unity in the EU and make sure to keep strong support for Ukraine, both in the short- and long-term.
Further, the Swedish government should use the opportunity that the presidency offers to set the agenda. This can be achieved while still securing compromises between the Member States.
Put competitiveness at the center of the discussion. Emphasize how certain legislation and regulation risk hampering EU’s competitiveness. Explain what this means for our ability to tackle the climate crisis and create more resilience.
Try to finalize negotiations on legislative files on the table without curtailing our ability to cope with climate change and the energy crises. Bring the Member States together and send a clear signal that over-regulation must be avoided. The Commission’s eagerness to use delegated acts in legislation should adressed. It goes beyond what delegated acts are meant to do and makes it difficult to understand and interpret legislation. It also weakens the Parliament’s and Member States’ influence on the legislation.
And finally, unite the Member States behind the call for the Commission to analyze the cumulative effects of all legislation coming into place this term relating to climate and environment. What does it mean for competitiveness and innovation, and for the industry’s ability to fight against climate change?
It will be a busy six months, that much we know. If the priorities are set wisely and communicated clearly, there is no doubt in my mind that Sweden’s presidency will be a successful one. We are here to help in any way we can.
Director General for the Swedish Forest Industries Federation