Swedish Minister for EU Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, and Cabinet Secretary, Frank Belfrage, yesterday met with the diplomatic corps based in Stockholm. The aim of the meeting was to brief foreign top diplomats on the upcoming Swedish EU Presidency.
Naturally the uncertainty surrounding the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty poses a major challenge for the Swedes. However, during the briefing it was made clear that Sweden will push on as if the Treaty will be ratified under the Swedish Presidency. When (if?) ratified, the Treaty will effectively trigger a host of institutional changes that Sweden will have to begin implementing.
During the meeting several participants asked what, if any, special dimension Sweden would bring to the fore during its Presidency; Malmström answered that the Presidency is aiming for a focus on openness and accessibility, in line with the new Swedish Presidency website. The website is apparently going to be more generous when it comes to sharing information compared to previous Presidency websites.
For the Brussels press corps (and consultants alike!) this sounds like a gift from heaven…or ‘jättebra’ as the Swedes would say.