Sweden takes over European Union presidency

July 1st, 2009 - 7:21 am ICT by IANS  

Stockholm, July 1 (DPA) Sweden Wednesday took over the rotating presidency of the European Union for the second time since it joined the bloc in 1995.
As part of events marking the launch of the six-month presidency, the European Commmission headed by President Jose Manuel Barroso was due to visit Stockholm on Wednesday for meetings with Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and other cabinet members.

Barroso and other commissioners were also due to meet Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf.

Sweden succeeds the Czech Republic.

Priorities for the Swedish EU presidency include tackling the ramifications of the global financial crisis and rising unemployment in the 27-nation bloc.

Sweden also hopes to help forge a unified EU stance at the upcoming UN climate conference in Copenhagen in December, when participating countries will be asked to agree on substantial cuts in the emission of dangerous greenhouse gases, as of 2012.

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