Historic achievements under the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union
A greener, more secure and freer EU was the goal when Sweden took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 January. As the Swedish Presidency comes to an end, it is time to sum up the major achievements – for Sweden and for the EU: Fit for 55, which is the world’s most ambitious climate package, a historic agreement on a new migration policy, and sustained and strengthened support for Ukraine.
“I want to warmly thank the Swedish Presidency for a very methodical, active, energetic and serious presidency. We have had great cooperation throughout the Presidency. Thank you very much for this excellent Presidency and all the work that has been done,” says President of the European Council Charles Michel.
“I want to congratule to a very successful Swedish Presidency. Thanks for your leadership, thanks for your very hard work and many thanks for the excellent cooperation that we have experienced over the last six months,” says President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
“It has truly been both rewarding and great fun to have the Presidency, but also a lot of hard work! Exactly as it should. I’m of course not neutral, but I do believe the Swedish Presidency has been a success. This third Swedish Presidency is now over. But the efforts to make Europe safer, greener and freer continues,” says Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.
Support to Ukraine helps make Europe more secure
As we face the worst security crisis since the Second World War, support to Ukraine helps make Europe more secure. Under the Swedish Presidency, Europe has remained united and the 27 EU Member States approved the eleventh sanctions package against Russia. The EU has agreed to deliver one million artillery shells to Ukraine, taken the initiative to use frozen Russian assets to finance Ukraine’s recovery and negotiated the establishment of a tribunal to investigate and prosecute Russia’s war crimes.
Historic migration deal
Sweden also achieved something that many believed was impossible: the historic migration deal. For a long time, the issue was at an impasse due to deep divisions between EU Member States. But after several years of negotiations, the Member States agreed on a new migration policy that will reduce migration to Europe, and by extension Sweden.
Under the Swedish Presidency, the Member States have agreed on the following: common rules for quicker processing at borders, a greater focus on the returning of people who do not have grounds for asylum, and faster and simplified procedures for asylum claims.
A greener Europe
One of the world’s largest climate packages, Fit for 55, crossed the finishing line under the Swedish Presidency. This new legislation changes the rules of play for climate policy because all the Member States have to do their part as the EU takes the lead on climate action. The package includes rules for charging infrastructure throughout the EU, a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035, more sustainable fuels in shipping and aviation, and renewable energy. The EU’s new climate policy is a major success for climate action and key to the EU becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Through Fit for 55, the EU will increase carbon dioxide emission reductions targets throughout the EU, and all the Member States will need to meet binding climate targets.