Continued efforts for a Sweden that stands together – Government to invest SEK 132 million

The Government is mobilising efforts to foster an open and democratic society. Initiatives within the framework of ‘a Sweden that stands together’ were presented in the 2016 Spring Fiscal Policy Bill. This work will continue with additional initiatives for a society with open meeting places, more local cultural activities and an enhanced civil society, as well as measures against discrimination, extremism, threats and hate. A total of SEK 132 million is being committed in the Budget Bill for 2017 and the autumn amending budget for 2016.

The initiatives are included in the Budget Bill for 2017 and the autumn amending budget for 2016, which are based on an agreement between the government parties and the Left Party.

Photo: Viktor Holm/Folio

The Government will address the challenges facing Sweden with increased investments for an open and democratic society. A Sweden with widening gaps and increased segregation risks becoming ever more polarised when meeting places and points of contact between different people disappear.

Our country is characterised by pluralism and diversity, which represents a major resource, but we are also vulnerable to mistrust between groups. This mistrust can also be exploited by racist and violent extremist movements.

Those who make their voices heard, such as journalists, elected representatives and cultural practitioners, are all too often subjected to hate and threats. There is a risk that the hardening tone in the public debate will silence voices that should not be silenced, and media developments lead to an increasing number of media consumers being in information bubbles where their own opinions are only confirmed, rarely challenged.

Investments for a Sweden that stands together

To curb the trend towards a more divided society, the Government is investing in a Sweden that stands together. The investments aim to improve access to clubhouses and community centres (particularly in socio-economically disadvantaged areas) to increase knowledge about violent extremism and radicalisation and how they can be prevented, and to strengthen children and young people as critical media users.

The Budget Bill for 2017 also contains an action plan to safeguard the democratic dialogue against threats and hate. The public sphere must be protected from online hate. Journalists, politicians and cultural practitioners must be able to work without being subjected to threats and hate. The autumn amending budget commits SEK 35 million to civil society and religious communities to strengthen their activities that focus on asylum seekers, and for the introduction of new arrivals.

Investments in the area of culture also aim at a cohesive and open Sweden. The Government's proposals include providing funds to the National Historical Museums and the National Museums of World Culture to improve the prospects for a knowledge-based and reflective historiography. Furthermore, it is proposed that the cultural cooperation model be reinforced so that more people in Sweden have access to a free and dynamic culture life.

Investments for a Sweden that stands together

• Protecting democracy against violent extremism, SEK 24 million
• Enhanced action against discrimination in the labour and housing markets, SEK 4 million
• Enhanced support to public community centres, SEK 20 million
• Strengthening children and young people as aware media users, SEK 3 million
• Safeguarding the democratic dialogue against threats and hate, SEK 5 million
• Enhanced cultural cooperation model, SEK 30 million
• Museum agencies’ promotion of democracy, SEK 8 million
• Grants to cultural environment conservation, SEK 3 million
• Funds to civil society and religious communities for work on the introduction of asylum seekers and new arrivals, SEK 35 million (in autumn amending budget for 2016)

Contact

Division for Democracy and Civil Society, Ministry of Culture
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00