(Det talade ordet gäller)
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Queen and I are honoured to welcome the King and Queen of Spain to Sweden.
It is a busy time in our country right now, with the forming of a new government, but here at the Royal Palace it is “business as usual”.
We have looked forward to Their Majesties’ visit, which will confirm and promote the longstanding and good relations between our two countries.
Spain and Sweden share interests, values and priorities within many areas, not least when it comes to the importance of democracy, gender equality and open, free, and sustainable trade.
Our countries work closely together in the European Union and are strongly engaged in upholding multilateral cooperation. In 2023 Sweden and Spain will play an important role in the EU through our presidencies.
This visit takes place at a time where our societies are slowly reopening after a difficult period due to Covid-19. It has been challenging times, at an individual, societal and global level. The Queen and I would like to offer our sincere condolences to the victims, their families and loved ones who have suffered in Spain.
The pandemic has made us aware of how vulnerable our societies are. And while we continue to live with the pandemic and its effects, it has become clear that we need to work together to tackle new challenges and other emerging crises in the future. This year’s extreme weather comes to mind, not least the heat waves that affected Spain this summer. Such incidents, and the alarming climate reports, highlight the need to rebuild our societies, to become more resilient. For that we need new innovative sustainable solutions.
There is great potential in the closer cooperation between Spain and Sweden in the fields of sustainability, digitalization and innovation. Swedish companies are eager to contribute to the rebuilding of our economies. Therefore, I am glad to see such an interest from Spanish companies joining Their Majesties in this visit. It will increase the possibilities for even more fruitful exchanges between companies, authorities and organisations in our two countries.
This state visit is a valuable opportunity to further strengthen the friendship and cooperation between Spain and Sweden. Her Majesty and I look forward to making the most of it.