Sweden took over the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union on 1 July, vowing to tackle climate change and combat rising unemployment in Europe in the wake of the global economic crisis.
"The financial crisis and climate change, with the preparation of the Copenhagen conference, will be our main priorities", Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt told reporters on the eve of the Swedish presidency.
Stockholm wants to get the EU to sign up to a new UN global warming treaty to be negotiated in Copenhagen in December, which would replace the Kyoto Protocol on cutting carbon emissions, which expires in 2012.
Sweden assumes the EU presidency at a time of great change in EU institutions, following European Parliament elections in June, and the imminent appointment of a new president of the European Commission, with the additional factor that the EU's institutional framework may be altered, depending on the outcome of a referendum in Ireland on the Lisbon Treaty in October.
Other priorities include EU enlargement, of which Sweden is a fierce advocate, improving European judicial co-operation, and developing a strategy to improve the Baltic Sea's marine environment and the region's growth potential.
1 July 2009