The Swedish Government at work
The Government governs Sweden and is the driving force in the process by which laws are created and amended, thereby influencing the development of society as a whole. However, the Government is accountable to the Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament) and must have its support to be able to implement its policies.
The Government governs the country, which includes:
- submitting legislative proposals to the Riksdag;
- implementing decisions taken by the Riksdag;
- exercising responsibility for the budget approved by the Riksdag;
- representing Sweden in the EU;
- entering into agreements with other states;
- directing central government activities;
- taking decisions in certain administrative matters not covered by other agencies.
The changes the Government wishes to make are set out in legislative proposals, or Government bills, which are then submitted to the Riksdag for approval. The Government submits around 200 bills to the Riksdag every year. The Government is also responsible for drawing up a proposal for the central government budget.
When the Riksdag has taken its decision on a matter - for instance, a new law or the central government budget - it is up to the Government to implement the Riksdag's decision. If a new law gives citizens new rights or imposes new obligations, this also means new responsibilities for the government agency in charge of the area.
The Government takes joint decisions on all government business at government meetings, which are held once a week. At least five ministers must be present for the Government to be able to take a decision. Government decisions are the formal and final stage of a long decision-making process. A government decision is often preceded by several months of work at official level. Sometimes an item of business can involve the areas of responsibility of several ministers. In that case, it is prepared jointly by their staff. All ministers must be in agreement about the decision before it is taken up at the government meeting. Around 7 000 government decisions are taken every year. Information is available on the internet both before and after a decision is taken.