The year of 2023 has hardly just begun, but the new Presidency of the Council of the European Union is already set to work. As we entered into the new year, the Swedish Council Presidency carried on the baton from the Czech Presidency, whose mandate terminated at the end of 2022, and with that, the new presidency also presented its official programme for the coming 6 months. In line with the expected priorities of Sweden, which we have briefly touched upon previously, the Swedish Presidency has now in depth unveiled the key issues to be found on its agenda, many of which are of great importance to the e-commerce sector.
Some of the overarching themes to be dealt with under the Swedish Presidency include the twin transition and the strengthening of the competitiveness of the EU. For instance, the new Presidency has made it a key priority to continue moving forward on the negotiations of the remaining parts of the ‘Fit for 55’ package, and the Swedes aim to do so with a high level of ambition, which must be said to be expected, seeing that the Scandinavian country is one of the Union’s front runners when it comes to the climate agenda. Among other topics related to the EU’s green transition, Sweden also has clear objectives of advancing the Council’s work on the revision of the Packaging Directive, as well as on the new Ecodesign Regulation. In view of consumer protection in the green transition, Sweden has also pledged to “take the negotiations on the Directive on empowering consumers for the green transition as far as possible.”
This year also marks the 30-year anniversary of the EU’s Single Market, and, naturally, this will not go unnoticed. In fact, the Swedish Presidency will make use of the special occasion to seek strengthening the Single Market, including its digital counterpart, even further, while manifesting the EU’s position as the world’s largest trading bloc. Among the initiatives put forward by the Swedes is the objective to actively continue to negotiate ambitious free trade agreements with third countries in order to keep strengthening the Union’s competitiveness. Some of the concrete free trade and partnership agreements waiting on the negotiation table are those with countries from Latin America and the Indo-Pacific region. Moreover, the Presidency also seeks to move forward on the work of the Data Act, aiming to be able to initiate negotiations with the European Parliament on the file, just like it intends to initiate and make headway on trilogue negotiations on the Artificial Intelligence Act and the eID as well. In line with these priorities, one of Sweden’s other objectives is to also push forward the Council’s negotiations with the Parliament on the ePrivacy Regulation, as well as it seeks to commence discussions on the new proposals that are expected to be presented by the Commission during the first half of the year, particularly the digital euro and proposals dealing with consumer protection.
The Swedish Presidency has much work in store, but Ecommerce Europe wishes them the best of luck throughout their mandate, and look forward to cooperating on key files of relevance to the e-commerce sector. If you have any questions or wish to know more about the topic, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.