The presidency of the EU’s Council of Ministers rotates between the member states every six months. Sweden took its turn from 1 January to 30 June 2023. This means that Sweden was leading the Council’s work, and represented all member states in negotiations with other EU institutions.
The Swedish Research Council has a leading role in developing Swedish research of the highest scientific quality, for example as adviser to the Swedish Government on research policy issues. We also represent Sweden in various collaborations relating to policy issues at European level.
During Sweden’s presidency, we were particularly engaged in contexts where issues relating to research infrastructure and open science were discussed. Almost one third of the Swedish Research Council’s funding goes to research infrastructure, and we initiate and fund research infrastructures both in Sweden and in other countries, ESS and MAX IV in Lund among others.
We also have a mandate to coordinate the transition to open access to research data, where the national goal is for the transition to be fully implemented no later than 2026. Here, we monitor the development of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) at close range, and represent Swedish interests in the collaboration.
Official events during the presidency
High-level meeting about antimicrobial resistance
6–7 March, Stockholm
The Swedish Presidency was hosting a high-level meeting relating to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), focusing on the EU’s contribution to the work at global level to curb AMR and obtain sustainable access to existing and new antibiotics, to enable effective treatment of infections. The high-level meeting was gathering together ministers, secretaries of state and director generals, as well as the heads of European health agencies and high-level participants from international organisations. The Swedish Research Council was invited to take part.
Breakfast seminar about Polar Connect: Secure connection to Asia for science and innovation
5 May, Brussels, Belgium
Polar Connect, is a new Nordic initiative to establish a secure, resilient and shortest possible data connection between Europe and the Asian Pacific for the benefit of trade, security and science. By a new fiber optic connection between the two regions you will provide new opportunities for economic growth through digital services but also enable environmental monitoring on one of the least well-known parts of planet Earth. The seminar was about this new initiative and its impact on research.
Open science – from policy to practice
16–17 May, Stockholm
The conference highlighted different perspectives of shaping, implementing and embedding Open Science. The aim was to exchange knowledge, share best practices and to discuss how Open Science can contribute to strengthening sustainable futures and democracies in and beyond the European Union.
The conference was associated with the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union and organised by the National Library of Sweden, the Swedish Museum of Natural History and the Swedish Research Council.
The potential of research data – how research infrastructures provide new opportunities and benefits for society
19–20 June, Lund
Discussions during the conference focused on the possibility of using open research data to solve social challenges, and what role research infrastructures can play in this process. The meeting did also include study visits to the research facilities MAX IV Laboratory and European Spallation Source (ESS).
The conference was arranged by the Swedish Research Council with support from Vinnova and the Government Offices.
The following are activities were arranged as a consequence of the presidency, but not included in the official programme.
EuroHPC Summit: European Supercomputing Excellence in the Exascale Era
20–23 March, Gothenburg
EuroHPC Summit is an annual event, arranged in collaboration between EuroHPC JU (European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking), the European Commission and the country that presides over the EU’s Council of Ministers. This year’s event was co-planned by EuroHPC JU and the Swedish Research Council, with participants from the European Commission and PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe).
ERC Scientific Council Meeting
28–30 June, Stockholm
The European Research Council (ERC) was established by the EU in 2007 and is a European funding body for excellent leading edge research, with a budget of 16 billion EUR (2021–2027). The ERC is governed by a scientific council that meets a number of times per year. One of the meetings was held in Stockholm during Sweden’s presidency of the EU. The Swedish Research Council was hosting the meeting.