Swedish Pre-Presidency Conference
Photo: Shutterstock/TT, Design: Tepsa

Swedish Pre-Presidency Conference

On 1 January 2023, Czechia will hand over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union to Sweden. During the first half of 2023, the Swedish Presidency has to sail through troubled waters to address some of the most pressing EU issues.

The Presidency will be tasked with bringing the European Union out of a difficult winter of soaring energy prices and rising inflation, precipitated by the EU's response to Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine. Major obstacles, including how the EU should continue to support Ukraine's fight for a European future, how it should alleviate the cost-of-living crisis hitting European citizens, and more, remain at the top of the agenda, exacerbated by Russia's war. Amongst these issues, ongoing challenges remain: the climate crisis and impact of Russia's war on the energy transition, the future of Europe in the context of rebuilding Ukraine after the war, and the ongoing impact of post-truth politics on democratic processes.

To scrutinise the priorities and challenges of the Presidency, the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) and the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) hosted the Swedish Pre-Presidency Conference on 1 and 2 December 2022 in Stockholm.

On the occasion of the Swedish Pre-Presidency Conference, TEPSA also presented to Swedish officials the Recommendations from the members of the TEPSA network to the incoming Swedish Presidency. The TEPSA Recommendations are an institution of TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference, with a long history. You can learn more about the TEPSA Recommendations here

The conference brought together academics, policy-makers, media and civil society in order to discuss the agenda and challenges of the upcoming Presidency. More specifically, the conference addressed the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian war on the future of European security, but it also explored a number of other key issues, such as the energy transition in the context of soaring energy prices linked to the war, the future of the EU's fundamental values in a context of post-truth politics, as well as the need for a humanitarian approach to migration and asylum policy. 

A summary of the conference in Swedish can be read here.

This Pre-Presidency Conference was organised by the Swedish Institute of International Affairs and the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA). The event was supported by the Government Offices of Sweden as well as the European Commission in Sweden and via TEPSA's CERV Operating Grant, the DiCE project (under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 870789), and the RECLAIM project (under the European Union's Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101061330).

War in Europe - Confronting New Realities

  • Keynote Speech: Jan Knutsson, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs
  • Magdalena Góra, Dr hab., Jagiellonian University in Kraków
  • Roderick Parkes, PhD, Research Director, German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), Berlin
  • Moderator: Jakob Hallgren, Director, The Swedish Institute of International Affairs

Please note that the first minutes of this session are not included due to an issue with the sound recording. We apologize for that.

The Future of the Union and its Fundamental Values

  • Maximilian Conrad, Professor, University of Iceland, Reykjavik
  • Agnieszka Sadecka, Assistant Professor, Jagiellonian University in Kraków
  • Richard Youngs, PhD, Senior Fellow, Democracy, Conflict and Governance Program, Carnegie Europe, Brussels
  • Moderator: Göran von Sydow, PhD, Director, Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies (SIEPS)

Climate, Energy and Sustainability

  • Simone Bunse, PhD, Researcher, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
  • Karina Barquet, PhD, Senior Research Fellow, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
  • Aleksandra Palkova, Researcher, Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA), Riga
  • Moderator: Niklas Bremberg, Associate Professor, Senior Research Fellow, Europe Programme, The Swedish Institute of International Affairs

The Reconstruction of Ukraine and the Future of Europe

  • Nona Mikhelidze, PhD, Senior Fellow, Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), Rome
  • Svitlana Chekunova, Leading Expert, Energy, Razumkov Center, Kiev
  • Torbjörn Becker, PhD Director, Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, Stockholm School of Economics
  • Matteo Bonomi, PhD, Senior Fellow, Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), Rome
  • Moderator: Fredrik Löjdquist, Director of the Stockholm Centre for East European Studies (SCEEUS)

Establishing an Effective, Humanitarian and Safe Migration Policy for Europe

  • Pawel Busiakiewicz, Head of the International Affairs Unit, DG HOME, EU Commission
  • Alexandra Wilton Wahren, Director-General for Legal Affairs, Swedish Ministry of Justice
  • Eleonora Milazzo, PhD, Egmont Institute and the European Policy Centre, Brussels
  • Moderator: Ezgi Irgil, PhD, Research Fellow, Global Politics and Security, The Swedish Institute of International Affairs

Europe in a Competitive World

  • Jessika Roswall, Minister for EU Affairs, Sweden
  • Cecilia Malmström, PhD, former Commissioner, Senior Fellow at Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE)
  • Ilke Toygür, PhD, Senior Associate with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Europe, Russia and Eurasia Program, Berlin
  • Moderator: Fabian Zuleeg, PhD, Director, European Policy Centre (EPC), Brussels

Concluding Remarks

  • Jakob Hallgren, Director, The Swedish Institute of International Affairs
  • Lucia Mokrá, Professor, Comenius University Bratislava, Chair of the TEPSA Board


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