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Some more details on the program of the Swedish Presidency

(B2)By presenting his program for the presidency of the European Union on Tuesday before the Riksdak, the Swedish Parliament, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt naturally provided a very broad overview of the priorities for the next six months. I would remember three aspects.

Foreign policy: Afghanistan-Pakistan, Middle East, Africa. “It is important that the EU further strengthens its engagement with Afghanistan and Pakistan. The role of the EU in the Middle East must be developed. We must have crisis management capacity in Africa.”

Enlargement: Croatia AND Turkey. “The continuation of the enlargement process is of strategic importance. Enlargement is the most effective way to promote peace, democracy and prosperity within Europe.” From the fall with Croatia. But also by resuming accession negotiations with Turkey that the presidency wishes to see “progress”. “

Defence: crisis management. As announced, it is around this theme that the Swedish presidency wants to focus. This on two levels. As recent crises have shown (Georgia, August 2008; Gaza, January 2009…; Iran, today), having a “mechanism to react to unforeseen events and to coordinate EU actions in a crisis situation (is) of decisive importance for the success of the Presidency.” But it is also about acting in the long term, in a more global way: “Developing the EU's crisis management capability is an important part of the objective of strengthening the EU as a global player. The aim is to achieve an improvement in the EU's ability to act in crisis situations, and thus to contribute more effectively to international peace and security.” The Swedish Presidency will therefore work to “improve the availability of the EU’s civil and military crisis management system” (*). Which involves: 1) "continue to develop their skills“; 2) “have more effective coordination of EU crisis management instruments” ; 3) “develop European cooperation in the field of armaments to consolidate European crisis management capability“. In addition, the works “in mediation and security sector reform” will be developed.
Last but not least, in 2009, ten years of European security and defense policy will be celebrated.

In terms of meetings, note:
– the informal meeting of foreign ministers (Gymnich), in Stockholm on 4-5 September 2009;
– the informal meeting of defense ministers, in Gothenburg, September 28-29.

(*) The future general directorate of civil-military planning within the Council of the EU should be officially announced “within a few days” Javier Solana confirmed to me, no doubt at the
very beginning of the presidency. The name of the candidate is almost chosen… but shush


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).