At midnight last Sunday, Ukrainian citizens could for the first time ever travel to the 30 countries of the Schengen Zone without a visa. This is a forceful reminder of one of the most poignant slogans of Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity, namely that “Ukraine is Europe”.

The new wastewater treatment plant in Kaliningrad, which was co-financed by Sweden, represents an important step towards improving water quality in the Baltic Sea. This is because the wastewater from Kaliningrad’s close to half a million inhabitants has for many years run straight out into the Baltic Sea untreated.

Sweden has historically been one of the most generous donors to the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, IDA. Now, as drought and subsequent famine looms over a number of countries, the IDA rushes to support the frontlines.

To mark Europe Day on 9 May, Minister for EU Affairs Ann Linde took part in two panel discussions organised by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions. The themes were ‘Where would Europe be without the EU?’ and ‘The future of European cooperation – what will it look like?’ 

Never have our oceans been as stressed as they are today. And yet, the world has long chosen not to recognise or acknowledge the seriousness of the situation, or perhaps it has seen the problems as isolated issues. This is why the UN Ocean Conference in June is so important.

Six years have now passed since the conflict in Syria broke out, when the regime met peaceful protests with brutal violence. The only sustainable way forward is a political solution to the conflict.

Det är nu sex år sedan konflikten i Syrien inleddes när regimen mötte fredliga protester med brutalt våld. Den enda hållbara vägen framåt är en politisk lösning på konflikten.

Two years ago, Russian opposition politician and former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov was murdered openly in the street, close to the Kremlin in Moscow.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives in Stockholm in Tuesday for talks with Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and to take part in some inspiring seminars on future innovative solutions.

On 1 January, as Sweden assumed its place on the Security Council, António Guterres became the new Secretary-General of the United Nations. We are encouraged by his vision statement, with its focus on strengthening the UN’s ability to prevent armed conflicts. We intend to build on this during Sweden’s presidency in January.