Half-time for Sweden's presidency of the EU and work with the EU’s Maritime Security Strategy

Sweden is now halfway through its presidency of the Council of the European Union and the Swedish Coast Guard has, since January, been supporting the Government Offices with the work involved. The Swedish Coast Guard has contributed by providing a chairperson and a delegate to the work within the EU’s Maritime Security Strategy (EUMSS).

On the 10 March the European Commission and the Diplomatic Service of the European Union (EEAS) sent out an updated version of the European Union’s Maritime Security Strategy along with an action plan.

- At the last meeting we could commence negotiations with the member states regarding the proposal,” says Fredrik Lindblom Chairperson for the Working Party on European Union Maritime Security Strategy.

More collaboration between the member states

The proposal presents a number of different activities that would lead to a greater degree of collaboration between the member states, for example within protection of maritime infrastructure and joint maritime exercises. The member states have until 11 April to submit written comments regarding the proposal, that will then be discussed at the next meeting that is to be held on 21 April.

- If the negotiations go well at the next meeting, then the Working Party should be shortly able to present a decision regarding the formal start for the new EU Maritime Security Strategy,” says Fredrik Lindblom.

Sweden as a neutral negotiator

Monica Blidner is legal counsel and Sweden’s delegate within the Working Party on European Union Maritime Security Strategy. This means she is Sweden’s representative at all of the meetings.

- As Sweden holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union, we are keeping a low profile and the presidency means that we must act as a neutral negotiator. Normally I would not comment during a meeting, however if needed I would receive instructions prepared by the Government Offices.

Monica also takes notes and sends them to a list of internal recipients after each meeting. This needs to be done quickly as a long list of recipients within the Government Offices must receive a copy within 24 hours.

- It’s rewarding and exciting to be a delegate! It is inspiring to be part of a forum where 27 counties discuss important issues in a constructive way,” says Monica Blidner.


From 1 January to 30 June Sweden holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union. The presidency means that Sweden, during a six-month period, plans and leads the work of the European Council and represents the Council in dealings with other EU institutions.

Each member state has different priorities for their presidency and the Swedish government has highlighted four priorities during Sweden’s presidency period:

  • Security – unity
  • Resilience – competitiveness
  • Prosperity – green transition and energy transition
  • Democratic values and the rule of law – our foundation

In its appropriation directions for 2023, the Coast Guard has been tasked with supporting the Government Offices in their work with the presidency. The Swedish Coast Guard has a larger role within the area of security. This relates to the Working Party on European Union Maritime Security Strategy.

Changed 20 April 2023 11:43