Swedish views on top priorities in transatlantic cooperation

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
Relations between Europe and the United States are generally in Sweden considered as facing a particular opportunity for improvement with the new President, who in Sweden, as elsewhere in Europe, has become very popular.
Three particular issues can be envisaged. One of them is the American role in regard to global security. Minister for Foreign Affairs, Carl Bildt, sees few things as more important during the coming year than to strengthen understanding between this new United States and the European Union. It is only through this partnership, he claims, that we have the possibility to take on the big global challenges – and to engage the other countries that are also decisive for success.[1]
Another issue often mentioned concerns the American role in overcoming the present financial crisis. For this, Sweden sees it as essential that the US choose a non-protectionist approach.[2]
A third issue, which for Sweden is very important during 2009, concerns the climate issue. Holding the EU-presidency during the period at the end of which the UN climate conference in Copenhagen is taking place means that Sweden sees the responsibility to bring along the United States in the process. This far, President Obama has only said that his ambition is to reduce United States’ emissions by 20 percent compared to the level of 1990.[3]

[1] Carl Bildt, Foreign Minister: Klimatfrågan försvåras av den ekonomiska krisen [The Economic Crisis Makes the Climate Issue More Difficult], Dagens Nyheter, 2 January 2009.

[2] Ewa Björling, Minister for Trade, in: Committee on European Union Affairs of the Swedish parliament: Stenografiska uppteckningar vid EU-nämndens sammanträden, 23 January 2009, p. 4, available at: (last access: 25 January 2009).

[3] Dagens Nyheter: Nu tar Reinfeldt över klubban [Reinfeldt Takes the Gavel], 31 Dec.2009.