How Sweden is governed

In How Sweden is governed the work of the Government and Government Offices is put in a wider perspective. What is their role in the Swedish polity? What is their relation to the Riksdag? What is the Governments role in EU cooperation? These are a few of the questions answered here.

  • You can also read about how laws are enacted and about the budget process.

  • Glossaries are also available with definitions of governmental and administrative functions in English together with the relevant Swedish term.

  • More detailed information on the Government's English-language website

  • The Prime Minister and members of the Swedish Government

    Every four years, the Swedish people go to the polls to elect their representatives in the Riksdag. The Riksdag appoints a Prime Minister who is given the task of forming a Government.

  • The Government Offices including ministries

    The Government Offices comprise the Prime Minister's office, the eleven ministries and the Office for Administrative Affairs.

  • Sweden's democratic system

    Sweden is a parliamentary democracy, which means that all public power proceeds from the people. General elections, which are held every four years, are an important expression of the fact that we in Sweden live in a democracy.

  • Sweden has three levels of government - national, regional and local. In addition, there is the European level which has acquired increasing importance following Sweden's entry into the EU.

  • The work of government

    The Government Offices are led by the Government and thus form a politically controlled body where the Government directs the work and sets priorities.

  • At their weekly cabinet meetings the members of the Cabinet take joint and collective decisions on all government business.

  • The State Budget procedure

    In the spring, the Spring Fiscal Policy Bill is presented and, in the autumn, the Government's Budget Bill.

  • The legislative process

    Each year, the Swedish Government lays some 200 bills, before the Riksdag (Swedish Parliament). Some of these contain proposals for new legislation, others involve major or minor amendments to existing statues. The process from initiative to enacted law involves several steps.

  • Sweden has four fundamental laws which together make up the Constitution. These define how the country shall be governed.

  • Why public access to official documents?

    One of the cornerstones of a democratic society such as Sweden is the principle of public access to official documents. It means that the activities of the authorities are as far as possible open to insight.

  • Human Rights in Sweden

    In Sweden, human rights are protected under the Instrument of Government which is one of the country's four fundamental laws.

  • The ombudsman system, which has been copied in several other countries, is an important function for guaranteeing transparency in the public sector.

  • Some issues the Government has to deal with are more difficult to resolve than others and require more extensive preparation before a proposal can be drafted and submitted to the Riksdag for a decision.

  • Agency management

    The agencies are subordinate to the Government and responsible for implementing public policies, overseeing the provision of many public services and discharging a range of regulatory functions. Every year the Government takes a decision on the preconditions for agencies' operations. This is effected on the one hand through what are known as appropriation directions and, on the other, through Ordinances.

  • Sweden and the EU

    Sweden has been a member of the European Union, EU, since 1 January 1995. This means that some decisions previously taken in the Swedish Riksdag are nowadays taken jointly with other EU countries.

  • Contact information

    Telephone, address, opening hours, emailing