Thursday, 02 July 2009

Sweden takes EU presidency, announces priorities

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SwedenSweden assumed the rotating presidency of the European Union Wednesday and immediately announced the nation’s top priorities: the economic crisis and the war on “global warming.”

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Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt also emphasized the need for strong leadership at a press conference.  Sweden’s ascent, the first time it has held the position since 2001, follows the Czech Republic’s six month stint at the helm. It will give the nation the opportunity to lead the work of the European council.

In addition to focusing on transnational regulation and lowering unemployment in Europe, Sweden also hopes to rein in exploding deficits in countries like France. “We think that the line of pushing financial stimulus packages is exhausted and it is exit strategies we should be pushing more,” Prime Minister Reinfeldt said. While pushing for stronger EU-wide regulation of the financial sector, he noted, “We think few and sound regulations are better than many regulations, which might well confuse the markets.”  

The country also hopes to export its carbon taxes to the rest of Europe and forge a “European consensus” before the United Nations' “climate change” conference in Copenhagen later this year. The Scandinavian country of about 10 million was the first place in the world to introduce taxes on CO2, a natural byproduct of breathing. But some European nations have been hesitant.  

According to Reinfeldt, "The climate change is happening, it's coming quicker and earlier than we thought and our way of living is just not sustainable." He added that Sweden hoped to push America, China, and other emitters of “green house gases” into accepting a climate-change treaty and that there is "not a minute to lose."

Legions of Swedish ambassadors around the globe promoted the agenda, tailoring their messages to the relevant countries. "Sweden will continue to support Turkey until the day it becomes a full member of the EU,” said ambassador Christer Asp in Ankara, the Turkish capitol. “Excluding Turkey from the EU would be a great strategic mistake."

The ambassador to the United States, Jonas Hafstrom, said the EU plans to work closely with the Obama administration in creating international financial regulations and a global-warming treaty. In Ireland, the message was that voters should ratify the Treaty of Lisbon — a move to give the EU sweeping new powers.

The nation’s foreign minister, Bilderberg-attendee Carl Bildt, stressed the importance of maintaining diplomatic relations with Iran and keeping embassy staff safe. “We have a dialogue now with Iran where we are underlining that there is a mutual interest to maintain full diplomatic relations,” he said. “That's an ongoing dialogue where we are showing both European strength and solidarity.”

Manuel Barroso, the head of the European commission, also spoke at the press conference with Prime Minister Reinfeldt in Stockholm Wednesday. He expressed hope that the European Union would be strengthened during Sweden’s term, and that institutional worries could be put aside. “I hope the decisions will be taken in a way that will reinforce and not weaken the European institutions," he said. Sweden’s Reinfeldt agreed, saying, “Now is not the time to look inwards and look at institutional questions."

Europe is heading on a road to disaster by attempting to further cripple the economy with regulations and global-warming treaties. International regulation will benefit the elite, as usual — while the burdens will be borne by the working masses. America should follow the advice of the Founders and avoid “entangling alliances,” particularly with international entities like the EU and the UN. Hopefully Europeans will wake up to the “entangling” nightmare that is the EU before it’s too late.