Swedish government & politics
All power comes from the people. This is the foundation of Sweden’s parliamentary democracy. Everyone has the same rights and a chance to have their say, and everyone is free to scrutinize how politicians and public agencies exercise their power.
General elections are held every four years. Some 7 million people in the country are entitled to vote and influence which political party will represent them in the Riksdag (the national parliament), county councils and municipalities. The 349 members of the Riksdag make the decisions and the Government implements those decisions. The Government may also submit proposals for new laws or amendments to laws for a parliamentary vote. In the latest election, in September 2010, Fredrik Reinfeldt became the first conservative Prime Minister to win reelection. Election turnout is normally high by international comparisons, although it has fallen to about 80 percent in recent decades.
Swedish governance as a whole is built on decentralization. On a local and regional level, municipalities and county councils are autonomous political bodies with clearly defined areas of responsibility. Municipalities deal with city planning and schools, for example, while county councils are in charge of areas such as healthcare and infrastructure.
Sweden has been a member of the EU since 1995. This means that many new laws enacted in Sweden start out as EU directives.
All power proceeds from the people. This is the foundation of parliamentary democracy in Sweden. Everyone has the same rights, the same opportunity to have their say, and everyone is free to scrutinize how the politicians and public agencies exercise their power.
Sweden is a free and open society. Its people have the right to take part in demonstrations, freedom of speech, a free press, the opportunity to move freely in nature and the right to scrutinize those in power. Openness is also about creating an equal society.
Sweden promotes internet freedom globally. But what about internet freedom within Sweden? Just how free are people emailing in Umeå, linking in Linköping or downloading in Dalarna?
It’s 50 years since Sweden’s most famous peacemaker, Dag Hammarskjöld, was killed in a plane crash in Africa — but his legacy lives on. The United Nations Secretary-General believed that problems should be solved at an early stage and promoted preventive diplomacy. During his tenure he also introduced quiet diplomacy, realising that in certain situations, this method was preferable to open debates.