Sweden will take over the presidency of the European Council in January 2023, and it should take advantage of its mandate to increase the level of sustainability ambition of the European Union, argue members of the Stockholm Environment Institute.

This commentary is co-signed by members of the Stockholm Environment Institute. The full list of signatories is at the bottom.

When Sweden takes the presidency of the European Council at the start of 2023, the EU will be in a critical phase for delivering on its 2030 climate goals under the European Green Deal.

A top priority is expected to be successfully concluding negotiations for the “Fit for 55” package. But Sweden’s position as a sustainability forerunner, with high credibility and useful experiences to share, makes it well-positioned to go beyond the level of ambition of existing legislative proposals and seize the opportunity to step up the EU’s sustainability ambitions.

Sweden should use the presidency to ensure that increased ambition on the European Green Deal remains a central guiding response  to the energy crisis.

Sweden should also initiate discussions on lessons from the European Green Deal and future priorities, thereby laying the foundations for an ambitious and transformative sustainability agenda that the next EU Commission can adopt after the current mandate period ends in 2024.

We outline four specific propositions for the incoming Swedish government to consider as it develops Sweden’s priorities for the presidency.

Read the Euractiv article with the four suggestions here .