In the News: Sweden takes over the EU presidency

All hail Sweden! Since a week, Sweden is holding the rotating presidency of the Union. The program is published on their website:
Interesting priorities are presented:
  • Climate (weird, as a Swede I would really not mind a couple degrees more)
  • Employment and Economy (at last!)
  • Citizen's rights
  • Baltic Sea (to save Swedish banks from the Baltic Financial Crisis)
  • EU in the World (as anybody else)
As usual a good mix of good intentions and personal interests. Unlike the previous presidency, there could be interesting alignment of interests on the economy. Sweden has developed an economic model based on competitiveness without hurting the social protection. Maybe they could teach us some few lessons of Social Democracy.

As journalists wrote, the program is not ambitious at all, just to make sure that every achievement will be ranked as a success.

But the coming 6 months are crucial to the future of the Union. Indeed, in the next 6 months:
  • We will get a new commission and a new parliament. The Battle for Barroso's re-election is going to be a fierce one...
  • The Treaty of Lisbon is likely to be implemented, depending on the Irish re-vote. This will be a major tectonic move in our institutions, with a stable presidency, a stronger parliament and a new set of governing rules at the Council.
Something I really appreciate from the Swedes is they might be one of the few countries which really cares about the general interest (or at least is not overwhelmed by parochial interests). Something welcome nowadays...

1 comment:

  1. A few comments:

    The Swedish Council Presidency website is the most advanced to date. The information has been running from the start and there are some interactive features.

    Sweden is traditionally intergovernmentalist, although more constructive and less abrasive than Britain or the Czech Republic, to name a few.

    The Lisbon Treaty, if it enters into force, will bring stable presidencies to the European Council and foreign affairs. Otherwise the six month presidencies continue, including general affairs.

    Swedish openness will be tested when it comes to the preparatory work needed to implement the Lisbon Treaty. Are we going to see progress reports and proposals open to public debate?

    We have seen nothing but a few 'ad hoc' decisions since the Slovenian Presidency. Not only the Council, but the Commission have been silent.