EU regions and cities stand ready to work together with the Swedish EU Council Presidency to achieve the "greener, safer and freer" Europe that Sweden has made the key focus of its presidency. Erik Slottner, Sweden's minister for Public Administration, intervened in the European Committee of the Regions' plenary session today to present a state of play of the presidency priorities: supporting Ukraine against Russia's aggression, boosting Europe's competitiveness, speeding up the green and energy transitions, and ensuring democratic values and the rule of law.
The Swedish presidency is taking place in a challenging context with the ongoing war in Ukraine, high inflation and increasing energy prices. This makes it even more urgent to break up the EU's dependency on fossil fuels and accelerate the green and energy transitions, while leaving no region behind. Minister Slottner also underlined the need to provide continued political, economic and military support for Ukraine and welcomed efforts from European regions and cities to support Ukraine's reconstruction and path towards the EU.
Vasco Alves Cordeiro, President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), said: "The Swedish Presidency takes place at a critical time for Europe, when we need to address the consequences of Russia’s war against Ukraine, while ensuring our indefectible support and solidarity to the Ukrainian people, who fight for our shared democratic values. At the same time, our societies are undergoing profound transformations: managing the green transition, making a success of the digitalisation while always putting people at the heart, are are important priorities for cities and regions and the European Committee of the Regions counts on the Swedish Presidency to make sure their local dimension is taken into account."
Erik Slottner, Sweden's Minister for Public Administration, said: "The situation we find ourselves in has a strong impact on the Union's citizens and elected politicians at local and regional level. The work of the European Committee of the Regions contributes in a decisive way to ensuring that the regional and local perspective is included in EU work. It is essential that we follow the development closely from the Union and from a national level in order to give municipalities and regions the conditions to carry out their tasks."
The CoR will work hand in hand with the Swedish Presidency on several issues, such as supporting Ukraine, speeding the climate and energy transitions as well as tackling disinformation. In this context, it will also host its Conference of Presidents and Bureau meetings in Sweden's northernmost town Kiruna on 27 and 28 April, with the focus on just transition and climate action in remote areas.
Tel: +32 479 51 74 43
Tel. +32 473536887