The Presidency of the EU changes hands every six months, and Sweden takes over on the 1 July from the Czech Republic. The largest and most important challenges facing the Presidency are the economy, employment and climate change– issues that affect each and every citizen of the EU.
The Swedish Presidency’s vision is for a strong and effective Europe where focus is on a common responsibility to meet the challenges today and tomorrow, including preparedness to manage crisis. The aim is to ensure the EU emerges stronger from the economic crisis and to pursue global efforts to tackle climate change. The EU faces other challenges, and the Swedish Presidency wants to develop a more secure and open Europe. The aim is also to work to strengthen the EU’s role as a global actor with a clear agenda for peace, development, democracy and human rights.
The Swedish Presidency wants to develop the EU’s capacity to act during international crises and strengthen cooperation with important partners. The Swedish stress that relations with the EU’s neighbours are very important, so is the development of the European Neighbourhood Policy. Particular focus will be placed on the implementation of the Eastern Partnership.
This vision is much in line with our work at the EUMM here in Georgia. We are one team, one integrated European Union mission with staff from 26 Member States, not 26 different national teams, and our teams are truly mixed in our Headquarters in Tbilisi and the four Field Offices. Our vehicles carry the flag of the Union, not the National flags of the 26 different countries represented in the Mission.
Sweden will chair the European Union until 31 December 2009, when Spain take over the Presidency.