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Reinfeldt Announces Presidential Priorities

Published tisdag 9 juni 2009 kl 17.49
EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso welcomes Fredrik Reinfeldt to the Commission's headquarters on Tuesday

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt made a keynote speech in Brussels on Tuesday, presenting Sweden's priorities for when it assumes the rotating EU Presidency next month.

In his speech he said that his country would show that the Sweden of today is seeking a new, more proactive and positive role within the EU.

One priority would be reducing budget deficits and fewer but better financial regulations. Reinfeldt also said that Sweden wanted to look at ways to reform the system of bonuses for financial managers to prevent recklessness.

"We think for stability it is very important ... to focus on the deficits, and that will probably be more in focus now than in the last six to eight months."

Another priority was the environment and the aim for European nations to tax carbon emissions to reduce greenhouse gasses, a tax Sweden introduced itself in 1991.

Reinfeldt told reporters that the move had proved very effective and was an inexpensive way of helping the environment.

"It puts a price on carbon emissions. It gives the signal in a market economy on what to reduce and it works," Reinfeldt said.

During Sweden's presidency, the EU member states will finalise their position on environment goals at an international climate change conference in Copenhagen in December.

The Swedish Prime Minister added that nobody seemed to envy their time at the Presidency helm which will take place under special circumstances. A new European Parliament taking office, the appointment of a new European Commission , uncertainty about the future of the Lisbon Treaty, as well being in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the 1930's.

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