Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary form of government. The Constitution is in force, which entered into force on January 1, 1975. Administrative division – 21 lan: Blekinge, Värmland, Västerbotten, Västernorrland, Västmanland, Västra Götaland, Gotland, Dalarna, Gävleborg, Jämtland, Jönköping, Kalmar, Kronuberg, Norrbotten, Södermanland, Skåne, Stockholm, Uppsala, Halland, Örebro, Esterjetland. Check computerminus for political system of Sweden.
The largest cities (thousand people): Stockholm (1700 with suburbs), Gothenburg (800), Malmö (500). The Swedish Constitution consists of 4 separate documents: the Act on the form of government, adopted in 1974, the Act on the succession to the throne, in force since 1810, the Freedom of the Press Act 1949 (originating from 1766) and the Freedom of Expression Act, which came into force in 1991. In addition Moreover, the Riksdag Act 1974 occupies an intermediate position between the Basic Law and ordinary statutory law.
The supreme body of legislative power is the Riksdag.
The highest body of executive power is the government.
The head of state, King Carl XVI Gustaf (since September 19, 1973), is endowed with purely representative or ceremonial functions and is a symbol of the Swedish state and nation.
The head of the supreme body of executive power is Göran Persson (since March 21, 1996).
Since 1971, the Riksdag of Sweden has been unicameral, consisting of 349 deputies elected by universal, direct, and secret suffrage once every 4 years. Residents of the country enjoy the right to vote from the age of 18. Seats in the Riksdag are allocated on a proportional basis to parties that receive at least 4% of the vote in an election. For most of the period from 1932, the Social Democratic Labor Party was in power in Sweden. Only in 1976-82 and 1991-94 the country was ruled by bourgeois governments. According to the results of the last elections, held on September 15, 2002, the Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Sweden is represented in the Riksdag – 144 mandates, 39.8% of the total number of votes; Moderate coalition party – 55% and 15.2%, respectively; People’s Party – liberals – 48 and 13.3%, Christian Democrats – 33 and 9.1%; Left party – 30 and 8.3%; Center Party – 22 and 6.1%; The environmental protection party – “green” – 17 and 4.6%. The prime minister is no longer appointed by the king, but by the chairman of the Riksdag.
The most famous Swedish politician in the world was Olof Palme (1927–86). In 1969-76 and 1982-86 he was the prime minister of the country, and from 1969 until the day of his death he headed the Social Democratic Labor Party. He was killed on February 28, 1986 in the center of Stockholm. Palme’s murder remains unsolved to this day.
Dag Hammarskjöld (1905–61) was Secretary General of the United Nations from 1953 until the day he died. Fulfilling his duties, he died in a plane crash over the territory of Zambia. He sought to ensure that the UN played the most active role in resolving international crises. The Swedish administrative system is characterized by the division of tasks between ministries and central administrative bodies. The central government consists of 13 small ministries (their staff does not exceed 100 people), mainly engaged in the preparation of draft laws for the government. The Council of Ministers meets once a week to approve decisions and is collectively responsible for all decisions made. Law enforcement is entrusted to 100 relatively independent central institutions and the boards of the lahns.
Until 1971, Sweden was divided into 850 communes, each of which had its own elected assembly of commissioners. The number of communes has now been reduced to 288. The rights and obligations of the communes include the construction of various structures and the provision of a wide range of services: housing and road construction, sewerage and water supply, primary and secondary education, social assistance, care for the elderly, child care, etc.. The communes have the right to levy income tax.
Between the state and communal levels there is a regional level of government. At this level, the country is divided into lans. The state power is represented in each lane by the governor and the board of the lane. Lan governors are appointed by the government for a term of 6 years and head the board of the lan. The members of the board of the Lane are appointed by the Landsting, which is elected and responsible for health care and certain types of education. Landstings collect income tax.
The political parties are well organized within and outside the Riksdag. The Social Democratic Labor Party of Sweden, founded in 1889, is the ruling, largest in the country, is closely associated with the movement of workers’ trade unions, and represents the ideas of the Swedish model of democratic socialism. The conservative Moderate coalition party was founded in 1904 (before 1969 – the Right Party), expresses the interests of large companies and top officials. The Center Party was founded in 1910 (before 1957 it was the Peasants’ Union), and it expresses the interests of medium and small landowners, as well as parts of the middle and small urban bourgeoisie. The People’s Party – the Liberals – was founded in 1895 (until 1990 – the People’s Party), represents the interests of the big, middle and part of the petty bourgeoisie, officials. The Left Party was founded in 1917 on the basis of the left wing of the Social Democratic Party (until 1921 – the Social Democratic Left Party, in 1921 it was renamed the Communist Party, in 1967 – the Left Party – Communists, since 1990 it has its current name). The environmental protection party – “green” – founded in 1981, expresses the ideas of environmental protection. The clerical bourgeois party Christian Democrats was founded in 1964 (until 1987 – the Christian Democratic Union). Since 1966 the state has been subsidizing the political parties that have a seat in the Riksdag.
The largest organization representing business circles is the Association of Swedish Entrepreneurs, founded in 1902.
An important role in the life of Sweden is played by the trade union movement, which unites in its ranks approx. 80% of the total economically active population of the country. However, there is no single trade union center in the country. The Central Association of Trade Unions in Sweden, the largest in the country, was founded in 1898 and unites approx. 1.2 million people employed in leading industries, utilities and services. The Central Association of Trade Unions of Employees was formed in 1944 and unites employees in the private and public sectors. The Central Organization of Persons with Higher Education was established in 1947 and unites teachers, engineers, doctors, and so on.
During both world wars, Sweden remained neutral. Thanks to this, and also due to other circumstances, she managed to stay away from hostilities. After World War II, Sweden continued its traditional policy of freedom from alliances in times of peace and neutrality in times of war, and based its security on a strong national defense system. Therefore, politically, Sweden’s involvement in European affairs did not go beyond participation in the Council of Europe.
In the 1960s – 70s. Sweden’s foreign policy has been focused on helping developing countries and global environmental issues, as well as supporting disarmament efforts within the UN and confidence-building measures in Europe. Support for the UN and its Charter remains one of the fundamental elements of Swedish foreign policy. Sweden allocates approx. 1% of its GDP to help developing countries.
In the 1980s The doctrine of general security, aimed at reducing armaments in Europe and supporting the idea of general and complete disarmament throughout the world, has become a central element of Swedish foreign policy.
For a long time, the policy of neutrality prevented Sweden from seeking EU accession. Sweden was content with membership in a less rigidly organized EFTA. However, changes in Europe and the end of the Cold War have made it possible to reconsider this position. In July 1991, Sweden applied for admission to the EU, in November 1994 the Swedish people approved the EU in a referendum, and in January 1995 Sweden became a full member of the EU.
Sweden announced that it shares the EU’s long-term goals and supports its efforts to create an economic and political union. Within the EU, Sweden is focusing on the process of EU enlargement, increased employment, greater transparency in decision-making, gender equality and tighter environmental policies.
The Swedish policy of non-participation in military alliances remains unchanged. This policy contributes to maintaining stability in Northern Europe. Sweden also makes a significant contribution to strengthening security throughout Europe through its active participation in the OSCE and the Council of Europe. Sweden is an observer in the WEU. Traditional northern cooperation is also developing within the framework of the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers.
Sweden has traditionally pursued a free trade policy and is a supporter of an open multilateral trading system based on the principles of the GATT and implemented within the framework of the WTO.
The main function of Swedish defense policy is to maintain peace while maintaining such a degree of readiness and military strength that the losses and casualties of a possible aggressor as a result of an attempt to seize the country markedly exceed the possible gains. The armed forces of Sweden include the Land Forces, the Navy, the Air Force. Every year, recruits aged 18 years are called up for basic training for a period of 5 to 15 months. Then they are called for retraining every 4 years. In the event of war, the Armed Forces can mobilize up to 850 thousand people. The regiments of the Ground Forces in peacetime exist only for training. Sweden does not have a standing army, and the airspace and territorial waters are under constant control of the Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard. Military spending is 2.1% of GDP. Military establishment, built on the universal conscription of men aged 18 to 47 years, are declining. The decision of the Riksdag adopted in 2000 means a reduction in the number of military units and a simultaneous increase in their combat readiness and mobility. Military aviation is of great importance. Swedish units are in constant readiness to participate in international actions to resolve conflicts. More than 60,000 Swedish military personnel served in UN units in various parts of the world. Sweden actively participates in the NATO Partnership for Peace program and in the peacekeeping forces in the former Yugoslavia.
Sweden has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation (established with the USSR in 1924).