The King and Queen's three-day state visit to France has now come to an end. One of the key players during the visit was Ambassador Veronika Wand-Danielsson.
What was important to you ahead of the state visit?
It was important to have a clear aim for the visit to focus on, and to follow it. The main themes were science, research, and environmental and integration issues. Our hope was to strengthen the two nations' trade and cooperation in the future, and I am delighted that we had a strong delegation including ministers and representatives from industry. We also wanted to put Sweden on the map for the people of Paris, so we arranged a week with a focus on Swedish culture in Paris called La Suède en lumière, which proved extremely popular.
Immediately afterwards, how would you say it went?
I know that The King and Queen enjoyed the programme, which I am very pleased about. It was an even greater success than I had dared to hope for.
Do you have any particularly successful programme events in mind?
Yes, for example the visit to the Le Centquatre cultural centre, which is a meeting place for people of all ages and somewhere where young people can train and develop. A Swedish girl saw The King and asked in surprise: "What are you doing here, King?" She turned to her French friends and explained who was visiting. The King stopped and talked with her for a while. It was a warm and spontaneous meeting, and was symbolic of the state visit.
The climate meeting at the Collège de France at which The King and President Hollande gave the opening speeches was also a great success. We have a real joint commitment to these issues. The King explained that the UN climate summit, COP 21, which will be held in Paris next year, is something he will be following personally. Stockholm's Finance Commissioner Karin Wanngård met with Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, which felt like a good start to future cooperation between the two cities. The day in Toulouse was also rewarding, and I am particularly glad that The Queen was able to be fully involved. The icing on the cake was an enjoyable meeting between The King and Queen and Zlatan. The people of Paris were delighted about that.
Find out more about the first day of the state visit here.
Find out more about the second day of the state visit here.
Find out more about the third day of the state visit here.