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From January 2023, Sweden will hold the role of President of the Council for the third time since joining the EU. They are taking over from the Czech Republic and are the last link in the Trio presidency of France-Czech Republic-Sweden. Like any other president, they will have to adopt a neutral attitude, but they will be able to set certain priorities. The Swedes will chair about 2,000 EU meetings in the coming months.
The Swedish government consists of two centre-right parties; the Swedish Christian Democrats (Kristdemokraterna) and Liberals (Liberalerna) supported by the right-wing Swedish Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna). The latter is therefore not in the government, but offers support from parliament in exchange for participation.
Sweden's ambitions have been strongly influenced by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its geopolitical and economic consequences. The Presidency's overarching priorities focus on security, resilience and prosperity. The Swedish Presidency is paying particular attention to the competitiveness of European companies. They see great opportunities for companies to strengthen their competitive position, especially in the digital transition.
The Swedish representatives still have a few complex files that are important for the financial sector. For example, the Swedish presidency will have to make a special effort to find an agreement between the Council and the European Parliament on the Banking Package and the legislation on Artificial Intelligence. Two dossiers in which tensions sometimes run high at European level. In addition, Sweden states that it will also focus in particular on a few specific dossiers: the Energy Taxation Directive, VAT for the Digital Age, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and the European Single Access Point (ESAP) legislation. The Presidency will also work on combating fraud and tax crimes.
In addition, the Swedish presidency will be faced with the publication of some new legislative files, on which they will have to start work in the Council. And these are not the least, with the most important files being the improvement of the Retail Investment Framework, the revision of PSD2 (the current payment guideline) and new legislation on Open Finance.