Priority policy areas in Statement of Government EU Policy

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On Wednesday 26 January, Minister for EU Affairs Hans Dahlgren presented the 2022 Statement of Government Policy in the Parliamentary Debate on EU Policy. The Statement, outlining how work on the Government’s priorities will be pursued at EU level, was followed by a debate on EU policy in the Riksdag.

Statement of Government Policy in the Parliamentary Debate on EU Policy, 2022

In this year’s Statement of Government EU Policy, Mr Dahlgren highlighted the Government’s three priorities, and how it intends to work on them at EU level.

Sweden can do better: the Government’s policy priorities

The first of the Government’s priorities is breaking down segregation and putting a stop to violence and criminality.
 “Through the EU, Sweden has the opportunity to combat criminal gangs with considerably greater force. Over the past year, cooperation between police authorities across Europe has time and time again delivered concrete results in the fight against crime,” said Mr Dahlgren.

The second priority is advancing the climate transition and creating jobs throughout the country.
“We have to end the climate crisis. And the EU must lead the way with an ambitious climate policy. All around Europe, attention is being directed to what is happening in Sweden. Green reindustrialisation, with carbon dioxide-free steel production and large-scale battery production, is showing the way towards a sustainable society,” said Mr Dahlgren.

The Government’s third priority is taking back control over the welfare system and ensuring that everyone who works has secure social insurance and pensions.
“The pandemic is the greatest threat our welfare has faced for a very long time. But in the midst of this health crisis, there is reason to highlight the success of the EU countries’ joint procurement of vaccines against COVID-19. It has contributed to the unprecedentedly rapid development of safe and effective vaccines, which has saved many lives,” Mr Dahlgren emphasised.

Safeguarding the EU’s fundamental values is also important to the Minister for EU Affairs and the Government:

“Cooperation in the EU builds on the Member States’ pledge to respect our fundamental values. This is why it is a matter of very serious concern when, in several Member States, respect for these values is lacking. The Government will push for the European Commission to continue to take action to reverse this trend.”

Mr Dahlgren also touched on the security situation in the EU’s neighbourhood and emphasised that the EU is Sweden’s most important foreign and security policy arena:

 “Russia’s recent unacceptable demands and ultimatums have met with European and transatlantic unity and steadfastness. This includes preparedness to impose extensive and severe sanctions if Russia further aggravates the situation. Such sanctions are most effective if they are implemented jointly, at EU level.”

It is now less than a year until Sweden takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and in this context, Mr Dahlgren said:

“It is an important undertaking that involves moving the Council’s agenda forward and helping ensure that the EU can take decisions that benefit Europe’s citizens.”