Swedish municipalities and regions will meet on Tuesday to discuss EU issues in the spring. One of the most important municipal issues is the revision of the European Union’s wastewater directives thirty years ago.
Twice a year, Swedish municipalities and regions, SKR compile a report in which the Union lists important EU issues. On Tuesday, it is time for EU’s big day in spring when SKR members come together to discuss.
– [EU-dagen] It is something we try to do for our members. We are writing this report for them and those interested in learning how we view the impact of the European Union on municipalities and regions right now, ”says Markus Holmberg, Head of the International Division at SKR.
Among the report’s eight priority issues, the European Union’s Charter for Migration and Asylum, which was introduced by the European Union Commission last fall, as the Czech Republic wants municipalities and regions to have more influence in decisions to receive refugees. The EU’s climate neutrality plan by 2050 is another major issue where SKR totally wants to avoid seeing too many detailed requirements that complicate, among other things, bioenergy and district heating. The update of the thirty-year-old EU sanitation directive, which was added before Sweden became a member of the European Union, is a third issue of great concern to Swedish municipalities as it can have a significant economic impact on individual municipalities. Among other things, SKR wants to give Sweden an exemption for biological treatment in cold climates, something that the European Union currently allows for high places in the Alps.
Many of these questions have been pending for two years, because the question is not clear. Markus Holmberg says that EU policies are sometimes very long processes, which is why we don’t ignore questions and pick up new ones.
According to Holberg, all the eight EU issues are of equal importance, but the union has different influences on the decision-making process.
– Some issues are of course easier to participate and influence than others, but we are following up on these issues with other parties. On the other hand, for example, the European Union’s directives on sanitation are a very important issue for our members but not important to others, says Holmgren.
What are your chances of hearing your demands?
We hope to hear about all these issues. This is our goal. We depend on it [EU och andra medlemsländer] Think like us in these contexts, even if that doesn’t mean we’re going to get through exactly what we want but you have to aim for high goals, says Marcus Holmgren.