H.M. Konungens tal vid EU-kommissionens besök i Kiruna

Icehotel, Kiruna

(Det talade ordet gäller)

Madam President of the European Commission,
Prime Minister,
Commissioners and ministers,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to Sweden, and especially to Kiruna and Jukkasjärvi. Sweden has taken over its third Presidency of the Council of the European Union in a time of enormous challenges on the European continent.

Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine marks a new chapter in European history, and a new geopolitical reality. The war means horrible suffering for the Ukrainian people. To us, it means an obligation and a responsibility to support Ukraine. It also means an economic recession and sky-rocketing energy prices.

In situations like this, our unity and willingness to cooperate and find solutions are put to the test. I know that keeping the European unity will be of utmost importance for the Swedish Presidency, for the Member states, and for the EU institutions.

Since Sweden joined the EU in 1995, Swedes have become used to traveling, working, and trading freely within the Union. The EU’s approval rating has increased steadily over the years. Many important achievements of the EU during this period have been accomplished.

Ladies and gentlemen,

you have arrived at a unique place in the Arctic.

Northern Sweden is home to a green industrial revolution: green steel, green energy, batteries and other technologies are crucial for achieving a more sustainable future. And they can all be found here.

As if this wasn’t enough, the people living here in the northern parts of our country can also teach us something about how to live our lives: with - perhaps - a little less stress and a little closer to nature. I am therefore very pleased that the important talks between the Commission and the Swedish Government can take place here in the surroundings of Swedish Lapland.

I wish you all the best for your important upcoming days.

Good luck!