Sweden’s time period on the helm of the Council of the European Union appears to be like set to be notably difficult, because of a brewing financial disaster created by the conflict in Ukraine and a packed legislative agenda. Getting international locations to come back to an settlement on a bunch of recordsdata with the top of the Fee and European Parliament’s time period in workplace quick approaching will take supreme diplomatic expertise.
Listed below are the individuals Europe must know forward of the Swedish presidency.
Lars Danielsson: Chief negotiator
Because the Swedish ambassador to the European Union, Danielsson will steer the Swedish ship by means of the nation’s third presidency of the Council of the EU. The profession diplomat with greater than 4 a long time of expertise will lead 200 officers in Brussels in tackling a few of Europe’s most urgent challenges, together with maintaining the bloc united in its assist for Ukraine and limiting the rise of power costs, in addition to dozens of different legal guidelines within the making.
Danielsson isn’t any stranger to brokering European offers on controversial points. The previous state secretary for EU affairs led his nation’s first presidency in 2001, when Sweden labored on getting international locations like Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic into the EU.
Past the EU, Danielsson has gained diplomatic expertise in Geneva, on the United Nations, Beijing, Hong Kong and Seoul. He additionally is aware of Stockholm’s political corridors very nicely: He was twice a international coverage adviser to prime ministers.
He’ll want all of that know-how to navigate what is going to probably show to be a tough presidency. With the European election across the nook in 2024, Sweden’s prime diplomat in Brussels since 2016 and his groups must work twice as arduous to finalize dozens of legal guidelines underneath the instructions of a brand new authorities in Stockholm.
“The problem for us is to not be submerged by disaster administration,” Danielsson advised a European Coverage Centre occasion in November.
Jessika Roswall: First-time European minister
Roswall has made her objectives as Sweden’s new European affairs minister clear: turning her nation right into a “main pressure to be reckoned with” once more.
A former lawyer specializing in household and legal regulation, Roswall was elected to Sweden’s parliament from the center-right Reasonable Social gathering in 2010. Rising up by means of the ranks, she grew to become the social gathering’s spokesperson on EU relations in 2019. She’s additionally a eager (and stylish) skier who has competed for the parliament’s ski group.
The free-trade defender who grew to become a minister for the primary time in October may have little time to organize for her position within the EU presidency however has stated that she felt “as ready as could be.” Roswall, who additionally counts Nordic affairs in her portfolio, will work throughout the prime minister’s workplace.
She is going to search to push ahead Sweden’s priorities: stepping up safety for EU residents; stopping organized crime; accelerating efforts to restrict local weather change; doubling down on the EU’s competitiveness; and defending the Union’s elementary values.
Roswall has said that whereas Sweden is anticipated to be neutral, there shall be room “to place a sure nationwide stamp on the presidency and to give attention to points which are within the pursuits of each Sweden and Europe.”
There are issues in Brussels although that this “nationwide stamp” will include a far-right slant, since Roswall’s coalition authorities relies on assist in parliament from the Euroskeptic Sweden Democrats.
Christian Danielsson: Veteran EU adviser
As state secretary to the EU affairs minister, Danielsson will act as Roswall’s adviser and can work on the coordination of the Swedish presidency of the Council of the EU.
Danielsson is a Brussels bubble veteran: He has labored in all three EU establishments and has constructed a cumbersome contacts e-book within the course of.
He was accountable for enlargement, or accepting new member international locations to the bloc, throughout his nation’s first presidency in 2001. And he was Sweden’s permanent representative to the EU in the course of the nation’s second presidency in 2009.
In 2021, he was requested by European Council President Charles Michel to become his envoy to supervise delicate mediation talks in Georgia to unravel a political standoff between the federal government and opposition leaders. The brokered deal was hailed as a hit.
The nomination got here after working because the Fee director basic for neighborhood and enlargement negotiations (DG NEAR). He was additionally deputy head of Cupboard for European Fee Vice President Günter Verheugen, liable for relations with Turkey and competitiveness. Earlier than turning into state secretary, he was head of the European Fee’s Illustration in Sweden.
Ylva Johansson: Bullish commissioner
Sweden’s Commissioner for Dwelling Affairs Johansson will function prominently throughout her nation’s presidency. Although she is a social democrat, she has embraced a lot of Stockholm’s new priorities, from preventing organized crime to securing the European Union’s exterior borders and serving to Ukrainian refugees within the bloc.
Johansson has ample understanding of the internal workings of Swedish politics as a former lawmaker. She has additionally been minister for employment and integration, minister for well being and colleges minister.
In Brussels, she has constructed a fame as a bullish politician, pushing for her recordsdata to present extra energy to Europol and struggle baby sexual abuse materials on-line. Her combative strategy has labored nicely: She was instrumental within the swift intervention by the Fee to safe a historic deal to present protections and rights to Ukrainians fleeing their war-torn nation.
Johansson will even depend on her head of Cupboard, Åsa Webber. A Brussels insider, Webber began working on the Swedish everlasting illustration in 2005 and was the deputy everlasting consultant to the EU from 2014 to 2019.
Gertrud Ingestad: HR chief
Wish to safe a lofty and highly effective job on the European Fee? It will not harm to be on good phrases with Gertrud Ingestad, director basic for human sources and safety.
The Swede has, since 2020, been overseeing the recruitment coverage, coaching and dealing circumstances for round 32,000 everlasting and contract staff on the European Fee.
Ingestad bought her foot within the Fee door in 1995, when she began as a translator. Earlier than turning into the Fee’s HR chief, she headed the IT division at a time when 82 percent of adviser-level workers had been males.
She took over the human sources helm on the day Belgium entered its first lockdown to include the coronavirus pandemic. She has since led work coverage adjustments to nudge Eurocrats to bid goodbye to their workplaces — that is concerned ramping up teleworking and using shared desks in open-plan flooring.
A few of her objectives have been to extend gender parity within the Fee, improve using digital instruments and make the establishment local weather impartial by 2030. Because the Fee begins imposing sweeping tech legal guidelines just like the Digital Providers Act, Ingestad will even have to draw one of the best candidates to do it.
Should you encounter Ingestad with a shotgun and a pack of hounds, do not be (too) alarmed. She hunts recreation birds along with her three short-haired Weimaraner looking canine: Viktor, Max and Charly.
Jessica Polfjärd, Karin Karlsbro, Sara Skyttedal: The European Parliament trio
Out of Sweden’s 21 representatives within the European parliament, three European lawmakers hailing from political events within the coalition authorities have been engaged on essential legal guidelines for Sweden.
Polfjärd (Moderates, EPP), Karlsbro (Liberals, Renew), and Skyttedal (Christian Democrats, EPP) shall be Stockholm’s lifeline to the European Parliament.
Polfjärd has a robust background in Swedish politics. A member of the parliament from 2016 to 2019, she was the Moderates’ group chief from 2015 to 2017 and a spokesperson for the social gathering on two separate events on labor market coverage and tax coverage.
A primary-time European lawmaker, Polfjärd has made her mark as a fierce defender of nuclear energy. She is a member of the committee on the surroundings, public well being, and meals security and the delegation to the Euro-Latin American parliamentary meeting. She has additionally been the lead lawmaker on nationwide local weather targets for EU international locations and greenhouse fuel emission cuts ,and is at present engaged on a regulation for the circular economy and second-hand market, in addition to on a regulation to make batteries more sustainable.
Skyttedal (Christian Democrats, EPP) has been engaged on tougher border rules and a 2022 plan to beef up the European protection trade by means of widespread procurement. She is a member of the trade, analysis and power committee in addition to the committee on civil liberties, justice and residential affairs. Skyttedal hasn’t shied away from making her positions emoji-clear on Twitter, together with on a rumored tax on beloved Swedish tobacco pouches snus. The Fee later clarified it had no plans to impose such a tax. Earlier than getting into politics, Skyttedal was a Miss Sweden entrant in 2006.
Karlsbro is commerce coordinator for the Renew group as a member of the committee on worldwide commerce. She can be vice chair for the delegation for relations with Belarus. She works on the EU’s law on deforestation, a important file for Sweden, and on batteries. Karlsbro’s place in Brussels and at residence shall be difficult. The Swedish Liberal Social gathering confronted heavy criticism within the Renew group after it entered a authorities with the assist from the far-right Sweden Democrats social gathering. Karlsbro has additionally expressed her fears concerning the Sweden Democrats’ views on EU coverage.
Karlsbro enjoys climbing and protested towards France’s atomic bomb checks on the islands of the South Pacific in her youth. She additionally just lately acquired a cat, however household negotiations are at present underway over whether or not to name him Karsten, Frans, Bilbo, or Stefan.
Wilhelmine Preussen, James Randerson and Tristan Fiedler contributed reporting.