Politics of Sweden

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Politics of Sweden

Popular government in Sweden rests upon ancient traditions. The Swedish Riksdag stems from the ancient court system used by all Germanic peoples, the Ting, and the election of kings in the Viking age. The state of Sweden is a limited constitutional monarchy. The Government of Sweden adheres to Parliamentarismde jure since 1975, de facto since 1917.



Main article: Constitution of Sweden

The Constitution of Sweden consists of four fundamental laws. The most important is the Instrument of Government of 1974 which sets out the basic principles of political life in Sweden, defining rights and freedoms. The Act of Succession is a treaty between the old Riksdag of the Estates and The House of Bernadotte regulating their rights to accede to the Swedish throne.

Head of State

Main article: Monarch of Sweden

King Carl XVI Gustav of the House of Bernadotte became king in 1973. His authority is formal, symbolic, and representational.

Head of State: His Royal Majesty King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden (since September 19, 1973)
Elections: No elections. Hereditary, in accordance with the Constitution of Sweden (Act of Succession, 1809)
Heir Apparent: Crown Princess Victoria, legitimate daughter of the monarch (born July 14, 1977). A constitutional amendment was required to allow gender-neutral succession.


Main article: Government of Sweden

The executive authority of the government is vested in the cabinet, which consists of a Prime Minister and roughly 20 Ministers who run the government departments.

Head of Government: Prime Minister Göran Persson (since March 21, 1996)
Cabinet: Ministers are appointed by the Prime Minister without any confirmation of the Parliament.
Elections: The Prime Minister is first appointed by the Speaker of Parliament and then confirmed (with the cabinet ministers) by Parliament. The monarch plays no part in this process.
Election results: Göran Persson was appointed Prime Minister forming a Social Democrat minority government. After the general elections in 2002 the Social Democrat Government continues to depend on the Left Party and the Green Party to achieve a majority in Parliament.
Missing image
Chamber of the Riksdag


Main article: Parliament of Sweden

The unicameral Riksdag has 349 members, popularly elected every 4 years and is in session generally from September through mid-June.

Speaker of Parliament: Björn von Sydow (since September 2002)
Chamber: Unicameral with 349 members
Elections: Members are elected by popular vote on a proportional representation basis to serve four-year terms.
Elections last held: September 15, 2002 (next to be held third Sunday of September 2006)


Main article: Judiciary of Sweden

Swedish law, drawing on Germanic, Roman, and Anglo-American law, is neither as codified as in France and other countries influenced by the Napoleonic Code, nor as dependent on judicial practice and precedents as in the United States.

Courts: Civil and criminal jurisdiction
  • Supreme Court or Högsta domstolen
  • Regional appellate courts or Hovrätter
  • Local courts or Tingsrätter
Administrative Courts: Litigation between the Public and the Government.
  • Government Court or Regeringsrätten
  • Regional appellate courts or Kammarrätter
  • Local courts or Länsrätter
Ombudsman: The Parliamentry Ombudsman or Justitieombudsmannen

Administrative divisions

Main article: Counties of Sweden

Sweden is divided into 21 counties. In each county there is a County Administrative Board and a County Council. Each county is also divided into several Municipalities, in total 289. Stockholm is the capital of Sweden. The King, the Parliament and the Cabinet all sit in Stockholm. Up to 1968 when the Overgovenor's Office was incorporated into Stockholm County, it had a special status.

Foreign relations

Main article: Foreign relations of Sweden

In 1995 Sweden together with Finland and Austria joined the European Union, extending the number of member countries from 12 to 15. Membership and its issues are among the most important questions in Swedish politics. Apart from the European Union Sweden is also an active member of the UN and several other organisations such as OECD and IMF.

See also

External links


de:Politisches System Schwedens es:Gobierno y política de Suecia fr:Politique de la Suède sv:Svensk politik


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