5 January 2023,
Since January 1st, this year, Sweden took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, following France and Czech Republic. The Presidency rotates every 6 months between EU member states.
The Swedish programme sets up 4 priorities:
- Security and unity in the context of Russia agression of Ukraine;
- Competitiveness of the European economy;
- Green and energy transitions for a resource-efficient and fossil-free future;
- Democratic values and the rule of law as EU foundations.
On the 14th of December, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson addressed the Swedish Parliament to present these priorities.
While focusing on the current war in Ukraine and security questions – “The primary task for our Presidency will therefore be to help ensure Europe’s security” – he tackled the need for the European industry to remain worldwide competitive, energity-wise autonomous, and greener, in the frame of the EU’s Fit for 55 package.
He concluded his speech on the situation of democracy in Europe: “We will need both steadfastness and pragmatism: steadfastness of values, and pragmatism in finding concrete solutions. […] During its Presidency, Sweden will therefore take the Council’s work on the Article 7 procedures forward in a constructive spirit, and stand up for the EU’s right to make the payment of EU funds conditional on respect for the rule of law.”
FAFCE regrets to see a lack of attention given to European families, more were severely hit by the war in Ukraine, the increase of energy prices, and the economic slowdown, among others. The Federation recalls the importance of empowering families as the first solution for a sustainable future of Europe, especially in the perspective of the demographic transition affecting Europe.