To welcome the incoming Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU, the EFTA Secretariat held a reception at EFTA House on 21 June 2023. The political direction of the upcoming Spanish Presidency will focus on re-industrialising the EU and ensuring its open strategic autonomy, advancing the green transition and environmental adaptation, promoting greater social and economic justice, and strengthening European unity.
EFTA’s Deputy Secretary General Siri Veseth Meling gave opening remarks. This was followed by an address from Borja Cortés-Bretón Brinkmann, incoming President of the EU Council Working Party on EFTA and Counsellor at the Permanent Representation of Spain to the European Union. His speech was followed by addresses from:
- Ambassador Pascal Schafhauser, Head of Mission of Liechtenstein to the EU and incoming Chair of the EFTA Standing Committee;
- Sesselja Sigurðardóttir, Deputy Head of Mission of Iceland to the EU;
- Kaja Moe Winther, Counsellor, Mission of Norway to the EU;
- Alexander Renggli, Deputy Head of Mission of Switzerland to the EU;
- and Nicolas von Lingen, Head of Unit EEA, Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco and San Marino, European Commission, Secretariat-General.
Every six months a different EU Member State holds the presidency of the Council of the EU. During this half year, the presidency chairs meetings at every level in the Council, helping to ensure the continuity of the EU's work in the Council. On 1 July 2023, Spain will succeed the Swedish Presidency, which took place from 1 January to 30 June 2023. The EFTA Secretariat traditionally holds a reception for each country holding the Presidency and this is an opportunity for the EFTA States, the EFTA Secretariat, and the Presidency to meet.
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