Seminars and conferences

Visby Agenda: creating impact for an eUnion 2015

Visby Agenda was a conference on future European IT policy. The conference was an important step in creating a common platform for a European ICT policy agenda by 2015.


Priorities for the common ICT policy agenda were discussed at the conference from different perspectives: policy, technology and innovation, business and market, social progress and utility: in other words, the user perspective. The high-level conference brought together delegations from the Member States, the European Commission, European Parliament and stakeholder organisations.

European study of future ICT issues

Sweden had prepared a report that formed the basis of the conference. The report, "A Green Knowledge Society - An ICT policy agenda to 2015 for Europe’s future knowledge society", was debated in various forums during the autumn and subsequently discussed from various perspectives at the conference. You can download the report from the link on the right.

Watch the conference and download speakers’ presentations

Recordings of all conference sessions are now available for viewing on the website. Click on Webcast for the relevant day of the conference in the calendar below to access webcasts and links to the speakers’ presentations.

Pre-meeting news

Post-meeting news



9, 10 November


Ministry in charge

Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications


  • Sofia Holmgren

    Desk Officer, Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications

    +46 8 405 37 47

    +46 70 313 53 14

  • Anders Hektor

    Desk Officer, Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications

    +46 8 405 11 20

    +46 70 208 9769

  • Lollo Näsvall

    Deputy Director, Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications

    +46 8 405 34 36

    +46 70 217 07 44

  • Karin Hjorth Rybbe

    Meeting Coordinator, Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications

    +46 8 405 56 25

    +46 76 100 85 94

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Read more on the Presidency website

External Resources

Comments from blogs

Decision-making process

EU legislation

  • The Council of the EU Decides
  • The European Parliament Decides
  • Coreper (Commitee of Permanent Representatives) Prepare
  • The European Parliament's committees Prepare
  • Working groups Prepare
  • The European Commisson Propose legislation
  • Conferences and other meetings Give inputs

The Council of the European Union is the EU’s highest decision-making body. It consists of one minister from each Member State who has the authority to make binding decisions for his or her government. Which minister participates from each Member State depends on the type of issue being discussed. The minister from the country holding the Presidency chairs the meetings.

The European Parliament passes new laws together with the Council, based on proposals from the Commission. The Parliament’s influence varies depending on the issues discussed. Normally, decisions are made in ‘codecision’ between the Parliament and Council which means that the Council must accept the European Parliament's amendment proposals in order to pass new legislation.

Coreper – the Committee of Permanent Representatives – prepares for Council meetings. All issues must pass through Coreper before they can be included on the agenda for a Council meeting. Coreper meets in two configurations, Coreper II and Coreper I, dealing with different subject areas. Coreper II is made up of the Permanent Representatives (the ambassadors) from the Member States, who work at the Permanent Representations in Brussels. Coreper I is made up of the Deputy Permanent Representatives (the ambassadors’ deputies).

The European Parliament’s proposals are considered in one of the parliamentary committees. There are twenty permanent committees, divided into subject areas, for example foreign affairs or the budget. The European Parliament can also appoint temporary committees for up to twelve months, with the possibility of extension. One of the committee members writes the committee’s report on a particular issue. In this function, he or she is called the rapporteur and has great influence over the way in which the report is drawn up.

Council working groups and committees are responsible for preparing all issues before they are referred to Coreper and finally to ministerial level. The working groups and committees are made up of senior officials, either from the Member States’ Permanent Representations in Brussels or from ministries in their capital cities.

The European Commission proposes new laws for the European Parliament and the Council to consider. It consists of one member from each Member State and it makes collective decisions. That means that the Commissioners support all decisions made, even those outside their respective subject area. The decisions are normally made without a vote, but if a Commissioner demands a vote, this is carried out. In these cases, absolute majority is required for a proposal to be accepted.

The European Council is also referred to as the EU summits and consists of the heads of state or government of the Member States together with the President of the Commission. They meet once or twice every six months to draw up political guidelines for the EU’s development.

The EU Presidency usually organises a number of informal ministerial meetings in the country holding the Presidency. No formal decisions are made at these meetings. The meetings instead offer an opportunity for the ministers to discuss current EU issues freely. One purpose is to provide an informal setting in which to solve problems and pave the way for decisions on difficult issues on the Council's ordinary agenda.

The EU cooperation involves striking a balance between the views of a number of parties on various levels. To assess the progress made on a certain issue and to enable the parties to put forward new proposals, conferences and different types of meetings are often arranged. No binding decisions are made at these conferences , but they still serve an important function in that they prepare the way for the formal steps in the EU's decision-making process.

The EU maintains regular dialogue with a very large number of countries and groups of countries outside the EU. These meetings with countries outside the EU are also known as ‘third country meetings’. The Presidency plans, coordinates and chairs the meetings. During the Swedish Presidency, around 280 such meetings will take place, some in Sweden and some in Brussels, New York and other countries outside the EU.