International relations and EU policy

The City of Stockholm is an active international partner who collaborates with other cities within a wide range of initiatives. The City’s broad international engagement provides benefits for its residents, visitors and the business community.

An active international work means that Stockholm’s interests are taken into account and there is a greater opportunity to follow, influence and take part in processes that affect the City. Approximately 50 percent of a municipal agenda consist of decisions affected by the EU. The City therefore actively works to influence decisions made at the EU level.

International relations are important to Stockholm, and there is a great deal of international interest in how the City works in areas such as sustainability, urban development, labour market, e-services, childcare and elderly care. A large number of official delegations visit the City annually, which contributes to the maintenance of good international relations. The City of Stockholm often welcomes delegations at a high political level and develops tailored programmes.

Stockholm for visitors

Stockholm’s appeal as a travel destination is increasing, and even more international visitors are coming to Stockholm. At the Stockholm Visitor Center in the House of Culture, visitors can get service and tips on things to experience in the City.

Official receptions

On a yearly basis, the City of Stockholm welcomes many visitors - guests of political leaders or participants in international congresses that are taking place in Stockholm - at official receptions at the City Hall. The City also hosts lunches in connection with state visits.

Organisers of international congresses with a majority of international participants can apply to be invited a reception at the City Hall. Receptions can also be arranged for sporting events at European or world championship level. Guests are most often greeted by the President or one of the Vice Presidents of the City Council.

For inquiries, please contact the City Executive Office’s protocol unit at:


City Executive Office
Protocol Unit
SE-105 35 Stockholm


The aim of the City’s international work is to contribute to the realisation of the City’s long-term strategies and vision.

The international unit at the City Executive Office is responsible for directing, leading and coordinating the City’s international work, and also for the City’s International Strategy and EU-Policy. The unit supports the City’s operations and elected representatives on international and EU-related issues.

The International Affairs Committee is the Mayor of Stockholm’s advisory committee for international issues. Through the committee, part of the City’s international visibility is coordinated.

Stockholm Business Region is a City owned company with the main objective to develop the Stockholm as a city for business start-ups and visitors.

The City of Stockholm is an active partner on the international arena, and it is extremely important for the City to maintain good relations on an international level. The City is a member of almost 100 international organisations and networks that all contribute to keep Stockholm in the loop in different international processes.

One way for the City to develop its operations, share ideas, best practices and try out different solutions together with others, is to participate in projects funded by the EU. Within the framework of various EU projects we can learn from our regional, national and European neighbours. The opportunities for EU-funded development work essentially extend across all of the City’s areas of activity.

The City’s advocacy work

Many decisions at EU level affect the City and its operations. The City works actively to influence the shaping of EU legislation and safeguard the interests of Stockholmers in the EU.

The International Unit at the City Executive Office coordinates and develops the City’s EU policy work. The unit is tasked with ensuring that the City pays attention to, analyses and influences important decisions taken at EU level. As an EU decision can affect many of the City’s operations, it is important that the City’s advocacy work is undertaken in a coordinated manner.

The City carries out advocacy work on its own and together with others, for example through the City’s partner organisations Eurocities, the Stockholm Region European Association and the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions.

Stockholm Region European Association

The City of Stockholm is a member of the Stockholm Region European Association, who has a mission to promote the shared political interests of its members by collaborating on issues relating to the region’s relationship with the EU.
The Stockholm Region European Association also aims to influence the EU’s policies and programme content and to create conditions for collaboration between Stockholm and other cities and regions in Europe. The association own the Stockholm Region EU Office, which serves as a representation office in Brussels for the Stockholm Region.