This content was published in the period between 9 July 2021 and 30 November 2021
Rule of law and high energy prices at Stefan Löfven’s last EU Summit
The importance of Member States following the rule of law and the spike in energy prices were two of the issues that were discussed at European Council on October 21-22 in Brussels.
It was probably Mr Löfven’s last European Council meeting as prime minister, and both he and Germany’s Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel – for whom the meeting was also her last as chancellor – were thanked for their services.
“A clear Swedish demand is that the rule of law must be complied for a country to be eligible to receive EU funds. This was an important factor in our negotiations on the EU’s long-term budget,” said Mr Löfven in connection with the meeting.
The discussion on the spike in energy prices and whether it is a reason to lower the EU’s climate ambitions was another issue on the leaders’ agenda. On this, Sweden’s position is quite the opposite – that the long term solution to the problem must be continued investment in sustainable energy. According to Mr Löfven, a large part of the problem of high energy prices is Europe’s great dependence on natural gas, and this must be broken in the long term.
The leaders also received a status report on the spread of COVID-19 and the vaccination rates in the different Member States.
At Sweden’s initiative, the leaders also discussed the importance of open and free trade, and the digital transformation. Regarding migration, there was a discussion on how to strengthen the EU’s cooperation with countries of transit and origin.
The recent Malmö Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism made an impact on the Council conclusions, which was welcomed by Mr Löfven.