Work ahead of Sweden’s Presidency in 2023


The Presidency of the Council rotates between EU Member States every six months. During a six-month period, the Presidency will drive forward the Council’s work on EU legislation, ensure continuity of the EU agenda and ensure that legislative processes are carried out in an orderly manner and that Member States cooperate. The two main tasks of the Presidency are to plan and chair the meetings of the Council and its preparatory bodies and to represent the Council in its relations with other EU institutions.

Minister for EU Affairs Hans Dahlgren
“Sweden is to be a professional and efficient president that acts in the common interest of the EU,” says Minister for EU Affairs Hans Dahlgren. Photo: Ninni Andersson/Government Offices of Sweden

Sweden will lead more than 2 000 meetings

During Sweden’s six-month Presidency, the Government and the Government Offices of Sweden will chair most of the meetings of the Council of the European Union. This applies to both ministerial and preparatory meetings. In total, there will be about 2 000 meetings in Brussels and Luxembourg and about 150 informal meetings and conferences in Sweden. This is around the same number of meetings as Sweden organised during its last Presidency in 2009.

Priorities during the Presidency

Member States holding the Presidency work closely together in a group of three Member States, known as a trio. The three Member States set long-term goals and draw up a joint agenda for an 18-month period. On the basis of this programme, each of the three countries develops its own more detailed six-month programme.

Sweden is part of a trio Presidency along with France and the Czech Republic. The countries’ 18-month programme was presented in December 2021. Sweden’s six-month programme and its priorities will be presented at a later date.

“The focus of the Presidency is to ensure that the work of the Council of the European Union takes place in the best possible way so that the EU can deliver good decisions for its citizens. The Presidency is also an opportunity to show Sweden and Swedish conditions to our European colleagues,” says Minister for EU Affairs Hans Dahlgren.

Preparatory work

The preparatory work of the Government and the Government Offices of Sweden is underway and will gradually be intensified. Preparations include recruiting staff, planning training activities and planning meetings. The ambition is a climate-smart, digital, cost-effective, communicative and transparent Presidency.

To enable preparation for and implementation of the EU Presidency, the appropriation to the Government Offices of Sweden will be temporarily increased. The total budget, as set out in the Budget Bill for 2021, is estimated at SEK 1 250 million, divided into SEK 40 million in 2021, SEK 350 million in 2022 and SEK 860 million in 2023.

This will be the third time that Sweden has held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Sweden held the Presidency for the first time in 2001 and, most recently, in the second half of 2009. The situation in 2023 looks a little different due to the changes following from the Treaty of Lisbon.