by Amanda Morrow
Article published on the 2009-07-01 Latest update 2009-07-02 09:30 TU
Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso outline the strategy for the next six months.
Photo: REUTERS/Bob Strong
Stockholm will have its hands full over the next six months after taking over the EU leadership from the Czech Republic.
Prime Minister Frederik Reinfeldt said Sweden would prioritise climate change, and push for the EU to sign a United Nations global warming treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, due to expire in 2012.
Stockholm is also focused on reducing Europe's unemployment, restoring confidence in the financial markets and pushing for further enlargement of the union.
The Swedish presidency follows last month's election of a new European parliament, with the European Commission yet to be installed and uncertainty surrounding the post of the Commision's president.
Julia de Clerck, a research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies, says Sweden is well prepared with a clear agenda - but many challenges lie ahead.
"On the one hand there is obviously the difficult task of trying to steer the union out of the economic and financial crisis. At the same time there is also the uncertainty of the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty," she told RFI.
"The issue of enlargement is also controversial. Sweden is strongly committed to further enlargement of the European Union including the issue of Turkey.
"It's always a difficult task for a presidency to bring together the different interests of the big member-states but also to balance common interests versus individual interests."
Fredrick Reinfeldt, Prime minister of Sweden