• Sweden's news in English
 
Sweden mini-summit
'We talked policy, not people': Cameron
UK Prime Minister David Cameron at Harpsund. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

'We talked policy, not people': Cameron

Published: 10 Jun 2014 11:10 GMT+02:00

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte have been in Sweden since Monday, meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt at his Harpsund summer residence.
 
On Tuesday morning at a closing press conference, the four explained that the talks had  centred on the future of Europe, particularly jobs and growth.
 
When the microphone was handed to reporters, Cameron was probed about whether the foursome had discussed Jean-Claude Juncker, the European People's Party's (EPP) pick to take the job as the next European Commission president.
 
Both Cameron and Reinfeldt are opposed to the Spitzenkandidat nomination process, which would automatically make Juncker Commission president by virtue of him being the candidate selected prior to the last month's elections by the EPP, the group that ended up winning most seats. 
 
There have been whispers, especially in Sweden, that Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt could in fact be the best man for the job.
 
However, Cameron put an abrupt stop to the speculation
 
"We have been talking about policies, not people," he told reporters.
 
 
Merkel, meanwhile, appeared open to candidates other than Juncker when asked by reporters. 
 
"Questions about personnel were not the emphasis of our discussions," Merkel said. "We wanted to focus on what has been talked about so little – the content [of what the EU Commission will do]."
 
She lightly endorsed Juncker once again but stressed he was not the focus of their talks. 
 
"The council knows it needs the agreement of the Parliament," she said. "If we are clever we respect the different institutions."  
 
She said candidate names would be discussed over June and didn’t put a time frame on when the next EC president would be named. 
 
Asked about Cameron’s reported threat that giving Juncker the job would force the UK to leave the EU, Merkel said discussions were held in a "European spirit". 
 
"Threats are not part of that," she said.
 
The four politicians, all leading countries that rank among the most competitive in Europe, took the chance to praise a productive evening of discussion. 
 
"The Harpsund meeting is taking place at a time when the European Union is slowly coming out of the crisis and facing major institutional changes," Reinfeldt said.
 
"It's about how the European Union can adapt to a changing global economy."
 
He added that the four heads discussed the creation of jobs in the EU, and how the change in the global economy required reform and an adapting of industries, labour markets, and innovation capacity. He also mentioned that the EU budget was high on the agenda.
 
"We agreed on the necessity to take action to abolish remaining barriers on the internal market, and to already now start discussions with all member states on how to reform the next EU budget."
 
The Swedish prime minister also echoed the sentiments of Merkel and Cameron in that discussions were focused on policy rather than people.
 
"We have agreed that the future policy priorities of the EU must be decided before we can decide on appointments of different top jobs," he told reporters.
 
 
 
 

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Sweden's wild carnivore population on the rise
A family of lynx. Photo: Shutterstock.

Sweden's wild carnivore population on the rise

An extensive European study has found that the numbers of carnivorous animals are on the rise across the continent, with Sweden seeing a hike in the populations of bears, lynxes, wolves, and wolverines. READ  

My Swedish Career
Meet the Italian sketching a new Swedish future
Filippo Vanzo. Photo: Private

Meet the Italian sketching a new Swedish future

For this week's My Swedish Career, The Local chats to Filippo Vanzo, a freelance illustrator who started to picture life in Stockholm after meeting his Swedish girlfriend online. READ  

Swedish parties in secret election talks: report
Photo: TT

Swedish parties in secret election talks: report

The government and opposition parties are reported to be conducting negotiations in a bid to avoid government chaos, putting the new March election in doubt, according to a media report. READ  

Icy roads as Swedes head home for Christmas
Photo: TT

Icy roads as Swedes head home for Christmas

The Swedish weather agency has issued a warning for icy roads across the country as many city-dwellers head out to the countryside for Christmas. READ  

Bomb blasts rock Malmö's Rosengård
Photo: TT

Bomb blasts rock Malmö's Rosengård

Police suspect that a rental dispute is behind a twin explosion which rocked the area around Ramels Väg in the Rosengård area of Malmö over the weekend. READ  

Romanian beggar lands bumper lottery win
Photo: TT

Romanian beggar lands bumper lottery win

A Romanian man who slept under a bridge in a Swedish city and lived by begging recently landed a 210,000 kronor ($27,000) lottery win after buying a ticket on impulse, saying he now wants to build himself a house. READ  

Agency: Dream in vain of a white Christmas
There is little chance of snow in Stockholm this Christmas. File photo: TT

Agency: Dream in vain of a white Christmas

Sweden's weather agency SMHI has warned those living in southern parts of the country to stop dreaming of a white Christmas or risk disappointment. READ  

Shots fired at Stockholm migrant camp: report
File photo: TT

Shots fired at Stockholm migrant camp: report

Stockholm police have launched an investigation after reports that shots were fired at an EU migrant camp in the south of the city on Saturday. READ  

Löfven pushes Swedish 'American Dream'
Photo: TT

Löfven pushes Swedish 'American Dream'

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven used his Christmas speech on Saturday to launch his idea of the "Swedish Promise", an equivalent to the more familiar "American Dream". READ  

Hoho: Estelle records cute Christmas message
Princess Estelle pictured in her 2014 Christmas jumper. Photo: Kate Gabor/royalcourt.se

Hoho: Estelle records cute Christmas message

Video: Sweden's little Princess Estelle has got into the spirit of Christmas by recording a special message together with her parents. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Video: The best & worst of Swedish Christmas
National
Second baby on the way for Princess Madeleine
Gallery
People-watching: December 20th - 21st
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: December 18th to 25th
National
'Unprecedented' Russian activity: Armed Forces
Blog updates

22 December

A Tale of Three Cities (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Today I am pleased to welcome a guest blogger on my blog, Sir David King, The..." READ »

 

19 December

-t or no -t? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! There are many things in the Swedish language that can give you a grey hair or two,..." READ »

 
 
 
Society
Interview: The Local chats with Melinda Gates
Society
VIDEO: Stockholmers try out some Swedish tongue twisters
Society
Eight things to do when it gets dark in Umeå
National
Inside Sweden's first 'light therapy' school
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: December 17th
Estelle through the years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Society
Why are there so many 100-year-olds in one Swedish town?
Society
Is it time to better celebrate Sweden's diverse identity?
Gallery
Property of the week: Huddinge
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
National
CATCH UP: Russian plane in Baltic near-miss drama
Lifestyle
How my compass drew me to Sweden
National
The man whose memory you need to remember
Gallery
People-watching: December 13th - 14th
Sponsored Article
How to get your own office anywhere in the world
Politics
'Our party will stand alone': Stefan Löfven
Society
The Local chats to Ruben Östlund, director of Golden Globe nominated Force Majeure
Lifestyle
Ten things to know before a Swedish party
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: December 12th to 19th
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The 2014 Nobel Banquet
National
The Local's guide to the Nobel Prizes 2014
Education
Introducing... Education in Stockholm
Society
The Swedish Christmas market with a twist
Lifestyle
Why do so many Swedes have tattoos?
Society
Get 20% off Swedish Christmas decorations
National
Dewani family: We only heard half the story
Business & Money
Business in Stockholm: 'efficiency is money'
Gallery
Property of the week: Östermalm
National
Meet the Swedes hosting festive feasts for 'lonely' guests
Gallery
TIMELINE: Swedish honeymoon killing murder trial
Gallery
People-watching: December 7th
Gallery
IN PICTURES: What's it like to fly planes in Sweden?
National
Submarine hunters 'robbed' of reward cash
National
The Local's Countdown to Christmas
National
'Dangerous' USB charger recalled in Sweden
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's King and Queen wrap up France tour
National
Analysis: Should Snowden get asylum in Sweden?
National
Swedish schoolboy in female saint role row
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's political crisis unfolds
Sponsored Article
SIS: the thinking behind globalised learning
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Family life in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

818
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Counselling and Psychotherapy in English
Sometimes living in another culture can cause stress, confusion and feelings of sadness and loneliness. Talking to a professional psychotherapist/counsellor might help you. I am a UKCP Reg. psychotherapist. My practice is in Södermalm, Stockholm.
Contact me to discuss your options