In the first half of 2023, when Sweden takes over the presidency of the Council of the European Union, the critical activities of the body will take into account Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
The priorities are stated on the Swedish presidency of the European Union website, which Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson presented on December 14.
“Sweden begins its presidency of the Council of the European Union at a time of historical challenges for the member states and the Union as a whole. Russia’s illegal, unacceptable and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is a threat to European security, with dire consequences for migration and global food and energy supplies,” the statement said.
Sweden has identified security, resilience, prosperity, democratic values, and the rule of law as the priorities of its presidency of the EU Council.
It agrees on “a robust European security and defense policy in close cooperation with partners,” further steps will be based on joint EU actions to counter Russian aggression against Ukraine, as well as the implementation of the EU Strategic Compass and other initiatives.
In the context of resilience, it is about stimulating economic growth and strengthening the EU’s competitiveness, given the war in Ukraine and its short-term consequences. And the priority of prosperity means overcoming high and volatile energy prices while reforming the energy market and addressing climate challenges.
The Swedish Presidency vows to continue its efforts to address long-term energy market reform and high and fluctuating energy costs. The EU will aim to stop relying on fossil fuels for security and the green transition. European businesses that offer environmentally friendly solutions will be in great demand worldwide and may help accelerate the shift to a circular economy.
The Czech Republic will hold the presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2022.
The “Ukrainian policy” in the Czech presidency program of the EU Council includes support for Ukraine in repulsing Russian war aggression, support for the EU countries that have sheltered Ukrainian refugees, and work on the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine in the future.