EU policy areas

The EU Member States work together in the Council of the European Union, also known as the Council. The work of the Council is divided into ten policy areas. Sweden and the other Member States are represented at ministerial level in each of these areas.

Agriculture, fisheries and food

Issues relating to agriculture, fisheries and food fall within the responsibility of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council.

Competitiveness issues

Issues relating to the competitiveness of the EU fall within the responsibility of the Competitiveness Council.

Economic and financial affairs

Work on economic policy, budget issues, taxation, financial markets and other related issues takes place in the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (the Ecofin Council).

Education and training, young people, culture and sport

Work on education and training, young people, culture and sport has a key role to play in achieving the EU’s strategic objective of becoming the world’s most competitive and knowledge-based economy.

Employment, social policy, health and medical care

Work on employment policy, labour law and working conditions, social security and public health takes place in the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (the EPSCO Council).

EU relations with the rest of the world

The responsibility for work on the EU’s relations with the rest of the world lies with the Foreign Affairs Council. Sweden wants to strengthen the EU as a global actor and work for a successful neighbourhood policy in this area.


Work on environmental issues takes place in the Environment Council. Sweden considers an ambitious and cohesive climate and energy policy essential to manage the challenges of climate change and promote sustainable development.

General affairs

Issues concerning the EU’s institutional structure and horizontal EU issues such as the Europe 2020 strategy, EU enlargement and the multi-annual financial framework are dealt with by the General Affairs Council.

Justice and home affairs

Issues such as civil law, criminal law, migration and asylum come under the responsibility of the Justice and Home Affairs Council.

Transport, telecommunications and energy

Work on issues relating to transport, telecommunications and energy takes place in the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council.