Sweden is taking over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union during the most serious security crisis since the Second World War. The challenges facing the EU may be greater than ever before. This calls for resolve.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shattered peace in Europe, forced millions to flee and contributed to soaring energy prices and inflation that are affecting families and businesses across our continent.
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.
Strong political, military, humanitarian and economic support to Ukraine remains a principal task, as does promoting closer ties between Ukraine and the EU. Our democratic values and the fundamental rights and freedoms of EU citizens are the foundation of European cooperation and at the core of the EU’s voice in the world.
The EU is one of the world’s most important climate actors and will continue to show leadership in the green transition. A Europe at forefront of development of new climate-smart solutions, that is able to inspire other countries in the transition towards a fossil-free economy, strengthens our growth and long-term competitiveness. A fossil-free energy system is also critical to our security and resilience.
Creating the best conditions for European businesses to grow in Europe and successfully compete globally is an important task for the coming years. The strength of the single market and our openness to the rest of the world are fundamental to the EU’s competitiveness. The digital single market will be realised and new free trade agreements concluded. Europe benefits from globalisation, but at the same time we must take a clear stance against one-sided dependencies and unfair conditions. For the EU to compete globally, more European research and innovation are essential.
The unity the EU has demonstrated since Russia launched its war of aggression against Ukraine is a strength. We are interconnected and we are better together. And the European Union has emerged stronger from past crises. We will do that again.
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.
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