From January, Sweden will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. In the middle of the month, the entire EU Commission, the Swedish government, and the Swedish royal couple are expected in Kiruna, Northern Sweden for the first major meeting of the presidency.
In January, the European Commission and the Swedish government will meet in the northern-Swedish city of Kiruna when Sweden will take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The meeting in Sweden's northernmost city will be the first major meeting during the Swedish presidency. It will take place on the 12th and 13th of January and will deal with relevant issues on the EU agenda. The royal couple will also be present in the industrial city, known for the mining giant LKAB's iron ore extraction, SVT Norrbotten reports.
We chose Kiruna to showcase a unique region in the EU where a green industrial shift of historical significance is taking place.
The upcoming Presidency of the Council's priorities was presented by Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson (Moderate Party) in a speech in the Swedish Parliament in December.
During Sweden's leadership of the Council's work, the priorities will be security, competitiveness, the green shift, as well as democratic values and the rule of law.
The country embarks on the presidency while the war in Ukraine is still going on, Sweden and Finland are entering NATO, and the energy crisis is affecting Europe.
"Sweden takes over the presidency in a time where the European Union faces historical challenges. A greener, safer, and freer Europe forms the foundation for our priorities," says Prime Minister Kristersson in a press release.
"This government will give high priority to EU work. It is in Sweden's interest to keep the EU together and promote issues where joint solutions are needed," adds EU Minister Jessika Roswall.
The world looks toward Kiruna
The industrial city Kiruna is known for its rich iron ore deposits and the mining giant LKAB's iron ore extraction. Kiruna and LKAB are also centers of innovation and the green shift, and take part in the transformation now taking place in Northern Sweden, especially in regard to the mining and steel industries.
A major shift is currently taking place in industries in Norrland, where the focus is on fossil-free production and electrification. This involves major investment in the production of green steel, extraction of minerals, logistics, wind power and batteries.
The visit to Kiruna creates an opportunity to showcase both the beautiful nature and the green industrial transformation that is underway in Northern Sweden, writes the Swedish government.
"We have chosen Kiruna for this meeting to showcase a unique region in the EU where a green industrial shift of historical significance is taking place," says Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.
Briefly about the EU Presidency
- The Presidency of the Council of the EU (also known as the Council of Ministers) rotates among the EU member states every 6 months.
- Sweden has the presidency from the 1st of January to the 30th of June 2023.
- Sweden will lead approx. 2000 meetings in Brussels and Luxembourg, as well as approx. 150 meetings in Sweden.
- In addition to the ministers, approx. 200 Swedish civil servants will lead various working groups within the council.
- This is Sweden's third presidency. The previous presidencies were in 2001 and 2009.
Source: The Swedish Government.
This article was originally published in Norwegian and has been translated by Birgitte Annie Molid Martinussen.