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5th Mar 2024

Upcoming Swedish EU presidency launches logo

Sweden's Europe minister, Cecilia Malmstrom, on Monday (2 March) presented the logo of the upcoming Swedish EU presidency as climate change and the financial crisis are set to dominate Stockholm's agenda in the second half of 2009.

With the Copenhagen UN conference on climate change taking place in December, the Swedish presidency is due to begin preparations for a new global agreement on emissions reduction one of its key priorities, Lisa Dahlen Jonsson, press officer with the Swedish permanent representation to the EU, told this website.

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  • Climate change will be one of the Swedish EU presidency's priorities. (Photo: Swedish government website)

The 27 member states take it in turns to chair the six-month presidency of the bloc, which in practical terms means organising all the ministerial and top-level meetings as well as the day-to-day agenda of the EU.

Other priorities are still being worked upon, with an official launch expected later this spring, before Stockholm takes over the helm of the EU. On 1 July, the current Czech EU presidency will end its mandate.

"Climate", "light", "down-to-earth", as well as "transparency and "dialogue" were some of the key words used in working on the logo.

Unlike previous EU presidencies that used the national top-level domain name of their countries, the Swedish EU presidency will use the '.eu' domain. However, the '.se' adress will also guide the user to the presidency website, Ms Jonsson added.

The Swedish diplomacy was bracing itself for the institutional uncertainty due to the Lisbon Treaty, according to the government's website.

Stockholm will also have to work with a newly elected European Parliament and supervise the nomination of a new EU commission, which is to take on its mandate on 1 November.

"Before that date [31 October], the governments of member states must agree on the individuals who are to be nominated for the post of president and members of the commission," the website reads.

The Swedish government is to allocate €77 million for its turn at the EU presidency. So far, the French EU presidency has been by far the most lavish one, spending some €190 million. The current Czech EU presidency has a budget of €124.5 million.

Financial regulation agreement

Another issue of importance for the Swedish EU presidency will be the overhaul of the international financial system. Speaking to Reuters last Thursday, financial minister Mats Odell said that a deal in this regard could be possible in the second half of this year.

Sweden believed it had gained useful experience from its own banking crisis in the early 1990s and saw the current market turmoil as a "golden opportunity" for achieving EU-wide rules, Odell said.

The report on supervision presented last week by a group headed by former Bank of France Governor Jacques de Larosiere, sets out a two-phase process towards reforming institutional supervision and would entail some loss of regulatory control by the 27 EU capitals.

"I think there are favourable political conditions for this, because citizens expect politicians on a European level to get together and prevent future crises like the one we are seeing now," Mr Odell told Reuters after meeting EU commissioner for internal market Charlie McCreevy to discuss the report.

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