The 5 GOLDEN RULES…... Do not interfere during the report. Refrain from talking with your seatmates. Sharpen your ear. Observe silence. Strictly…….. No questions will be entertained during the report…and even “AFTER”the report…….
During the seventh and eighth centuries, the Swedes were merchant seamen well known for their far- reaching trade. In the ninth century, Nordic Vikings raided and ravaged the European continent as far as the Black and Caspian Seas. During the 11th and 12th centuries, Sweden gradually became a unified Christian kingdom that later included Finland.
The unions final disintegration in the early 16th century brought on a long-lived rivalry between Norway and Denmark on one side and Sweden and Finland on the other. In the 16th century, Gustav Vasa fought for an independent Sweden, crushing an attempt to restore the Kalmar Union and laying the foundation for modern Sweden and he broke with the Catholic Church and established the Reformation.
During the 17th century, after winning wars against Denmark, Russia, and Poland, Sweden-Finland (with scarcely more than 1 million inhabitants) emerged as a great power Sweden suffered further territorial losses during the Napoleonic wars and was forced to cede Finland to Russia in 1809.
Sweden was a largely impoverished agrarian society until it was transformed into a center of heavy industry in the 19th and 20th centuries. Sweden’s transformation has been helped by several factors, including avoiding involvement in the 20th century’s many wars and the country’s long history of entrepreneurialism. Economists and politicians have long pointed to Sweden as a role model because of its successful combination of generous welfare benefits and high- tech capitalism.
Sweden is very much oriented towards overseas trade. The Swedish economy is built on rich reserves of iron ore and timber, and plentiful hydroelectric power. The main industrial sectors are forestry, telecoms, and the automotive and pharmaceutical industries. The private sector is strong and growing, supported by a highly educated and productive workforce.
Swedens economy grew 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to the previous three-month period and jumped 7.3 percent year-on-year, beating analyst expectations. The 7.3-percent year-on-year quarterly jump is the highest on record since the statistics agency started recording quarterly data in 1970. Sweden, which emerged from recession in the second quarter of 2009 and saw growth quickly pick up in the first quarter of 2010
Today the country is among the world’s 15 richest in terms of GDP per capita, a status helped by high levels of education and a skilled workforce, excellent internal and external communications, and one of the highest levels of internet access. Sweden is part of the European Union but maintains its own currency, the krona (crown)
Type: Constitutional monarchy. Constitution: The Swedish Constitution Based on the following: the Instrument of Government (originally dating from June 6, 1809), the Act of Succession (1810) the Freedom of the Press Act (1949) Riksdag Act.
Monarch head of state Prime Minister head of government Cabinet responsible to Parliament.
84 district courts 10 appeal courts two superior courts Subdivisions: 21 counties, 18 county councils, 290 municipalities, and two regions.
Riksdag -unicameral Parliament -349 members -the supreme decision-making assembly in our country -passes laws in Sweden -appoints a prime minister
1435 representatives of different social groups were called to a meeting in the town of Arboga to discuss and determine affairs affecting the country as a whole. It is referred as Swedens first parliament. 1527 and later 1544 King Gustav Vasas two assemblies in Västerås that representatives of all four estates - the Nobility, the Clergy, the Burghers and the Peasantry - were called on to participate. The term "Riksdag" was first used in the 1540s.
17th century the establishment of clearer parliamentary procedures. The committee organization began to emerge and written regulations on the work of the Riksdag were drawn up. In the late 17th century King Karl XI gained increasing power which meant that the Riksdags position was weakened.
1809 a new Instrument of Government was adopted in Sweden. It set out how the power was to be divided between the Riksdag and the King. The new Instrument of Government remained in force until 1974. The first Riksdag Act - which is a law setting out the procedures for the work of the Riksdag - was introduced in 1810.
The bicameral Riksdag In 1865 the parliament of the four estates was abolished and replaced by a bicameral (two-chamber) system. Elections to the Second Chamber were only open to men, and in order to vote it was necessary to meet certain economic criteria such as ownership of real estate or payment of tax on an annual taxable income.
In 1909 a reform was passed in the Riksdag giving Swedish men the right to vote in elections to the Second Chamber In 1921 a universal and equal franchise was introduced for men and women alike, and the Riksdag finally achieved a system of democratic representation for all citizens. This means that the government requires the Riksdags confidence and support for all major decisions.
The unicameral Riksdag 1971 the bicameral system was abolished and a single chamber with 350 members was introduced. The system of different committees for legislative and budgetary matters was abandoned and 16 committees for different specialised areas were established instead.
1974, Sweden adopted a new Instrument of Government and a new Riksdag Act. The principles of parliamentarianism were incorporated into the constitution and the Speaker acquired a central role in the formation of a new government after an election.
Four-year electoral periodTwo important decisions were taken in 1994 extend the electoral period from three to four years and the second to make the budget procedure more efficient. the budget year now coincides with the calendar year and that the Budget Bill is presented and dealt with during the autumn.
FUNCTIONS OF RIKSDAG Adopts laws Determines the central government budget Examines the work of the Government Works with EU-related matters Foreign policy
Proposals for new laws, or amendments to laws that are already in force, normally come from the Government in the form of a Government bill. All legislative proposals are first considered by a committee before the Riksdag takes a decision. For the proposal to be adopted, a majority of members of the Riksdag must vote in favour of it. The Riksdag communicates its decision to the Government, which issues the new law and ensures that it is implemented in the way intended by the Riksdag.
The Riksdag is responsible for determining central government expenditure and revenue. It does this after the Government has submitted proposals in the Budget Bill as to how the money at the disposal of the central government sector should be used. Once the Riksdag has taken a decision on the central government budget, the Government is responsible for the budget and for implementing the Riksdags decision.
The members of the Riksdag have the opportunity to address questions to Government ministers. The Committee on the Constitution checks that the Government acts in compliance with existing regulations. If the Riksdag no longer has confidence in a minister or in the prime minister it can decide to make a declaration of no confidence. Members of the public who are dissatisfied with a public agencys handling of a matter can lodge a complaint with the Parliamentary Ombudsmen.
The Government represents Sweden in the EU. The Government cannot promote any EU policies without the support of the Riksdag. The Riksdags and Governments work with EU issues is carried out in various forums including the Chamber of the Riksdag, the parliamentary committees and the Committee on EU Affairs.
The Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs is a body for consultation on foreign affairs between the Government and the Riksdag. Areas of foreign policy that are determined by the Riksdag include what countries Sweden is to deploy peacekeeping forces to and what proportion of our gross national income is to be spent on development assistance.
Swedish Parliament are held every fourth year on the third Sunday in September. A party must receive at least 4% of the votes in the entire country or 12% in a single electoral district to qualify for any seats in Parliament.
Democratic Party (SDP) It derives much of its power from strong links with the National Swedish Confederation of Trade Unions (LO), which represents blue-collar workers. The party program combines a commitment to social welfare programs and government direction of the economy.
Moderate Party emphasizes personal freedom, free enterprise, and reduction of the public-sector growth rate, while still supporting most of the social benefits introduced since the 1930s. supports a strong military and Swedens membership in the EU Its voter base is urban business people and professionals, but the party also attracts young voters, main-street shop owners, and, some blue-collar workers
The Green Party left-leaning, environmentalist party that attracts young people strongly support greater public transportation and environmental taxation, and replacing nuclear energy in Sweden with alternative, environmentally friendly energy sources.
The Liberal Party Partys platform is "social responsibility without socialism," which includes a commitment to a free- market economy combined with comprehensive Swedish social welfare programs centered in educated, middle-class voters, and is pro- EU.
The Center Party maintains close ties to rural Sweden The main priorities of the party include providing a sound economic climate for business and job creation, rural development, climate change and environmental concerns, and health and welfare issues.
The Sweden Democrats It is a nationalist, right-wing party Its main priority is to protect Swedish culture and values, mostly by reducing immigration to Sweden
The Left Party formerly the Communist Party, focuses on feminist issues, employment in the public sector, and the environment. It opposes privatization, cuts in public expenditure, Swedish participation in NATO activities, and EU membership Its voter base consists mainly of young people, public sector employees, feminists, journalists, and former social democrats.
The Christian Democrat Party is conservative and “value-oriented” Its voter base is primarily among members of conservative churches and rural populations. Christian Democrats seek government support for families and better ethical practices to improve care for the elderly.