The Swedish EU Presidency


Sweden assumes the EU's six-month rotating presidency from the Czech Republic on 1 July as Europe battles its most severe economic recession in decades and faces an uncertain institutional future. If the Lisbon Treaty enters into force before the end of the year, this could be history's last fully-fledged EU presidency.

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From 1 July to 31 December 2009, Sweden will hold the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union, chairing EU summits (the European Council of EU heads of state and government) and meetings of the bloc's Council of Ministers. 

Under the motto 'Taking on the challenges', Sweden is taking the EU's helm in difficult times, with uncertainty hanging over the Union's new institutional setting as Europe battles its worst economic recession since the 1930s. 

Swedish officials have singled out preparing for the Copenhagen climate change summit, which is expected to thrash out a successor to the Kyoto Protocol next December, as its main objective (see EurActiv LinksDossier on 'Climate change: The road to Copenhagen'). 

Other difficult tasks also lie ahead, like responding to the global economic crisis, pushing forward the final stages of the Lisbon Treaty's ratification, and presiding over consultations to appoint the next Commission president, the first ever permanent president of the European Council and the first EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy. The latter two positions are foreseen under the Lisbon Treaty (see EurActiv LinksDossier on 'Choosing Mr. Europe').