The Government is investing in a Sweden that keeps together

In the spring budget for 2016, the Government is investing SEK 44 million in safeguarding our open society and democracy, and combating polarisation, racism and violent extremism.
This is proposed in the Government’s spring budget for 2016 following an agreement with the Left Party.

"We need to invest in a Sweden that keeps together. In the Government's commitment to building our society, we therefore give priority to investing in culture throughout the country, and efforts to combat polarisation in society. Civil society and libraries have a key role in the ambition to create meeting places," says Minister for Culture and Democracy Alice Bah Kuhnke.

Increased support for work to combat violent extremism

The advance of violent extremism and terrorism is a serious concern, and people are worried about terrorist attacks and extremist violence. The Government is therefore investing an additional SEK 18 million in 2016 in efforts to combat violent extremism. SEK 8 million will go to measures taken by municipalities together with civil society. SEK 10 million will go to preventive work in schools, using the 'Kungälv model'. This work focuses mainly on young people who are in or near violent extremist environments.

More resources for libraries safeguards open society

It is proposed that SEK 10.5 million be allocated to public libraries. The aim is to strengthen the role of libraries as important meeting places, where people with different backgrounds and circumstances can meet and access knowledge, literature and culture. Libraries have adapted their activities in various ways so as to better support refugees and people who have recently come to Sweden. SEK 0.5 million will be set aside, for example, for the purchase of literature.

Everyone should be able to take part in the democratic conversation

Polarisation risks creating a tougher climate for discussions. When people are silenced or become silent due to threats and hatred, it becomes a threat to democracy. There is a great need to safeguard the democratic conversation so as to ensure that everyone can take part without anxiety or fear. The Government is therefore preparing an action plan to guard against threats to the democratic conversation. SEK 3 million will be provided in 2016 for preparatory data collection on threats and hatred.

More support for civil society efforts to combat racism and similar forms of hostility

Civil society organisations are central actors in creating conditions for a Sweden that keeps together. In the shadow of developments over the past year, including arson at asylum centres and racist murders, the Government sees a need for concerted efforts in 2016. SEK 7 million will be devoted to civil society efforts to combat racism and similar forms of hostility, and to special initiatives to strengthen public preparedness to manage crises with racist overtones.

The Living History Forum must reach more people

The Living History Forum will be allocated an additional SEK 3.5 million in 2016. The aim is to provide better conditions for the authority to reach many places in Sweden and people in various social groups. The Living History Forum can reach more people through regional projects, and thus more forcefully promote work on democracy, tolerance and human rights.

More people should be able to access civic information on their own terms

People who have recently come to Sweden have a great need to quickly access literature and civic information. The Swedish Agency for Accessible Media is being tasked with advancing accessibility to easy-to-read literature and civic information for groups of people with reading difficulties who do not have Swedish as their mother tongue. In the Spring Amending Budget for 2016, the Government is proposing that the Agency's allocation be increased by SEK 500 000 for this assignment.

Investment in a new Swedish-Jewish museum

It is proposed that the Jewish Museum in Stockholm receive a contribution of SEK 1.5 million in 2016 for the establishment of a new Swedish-Jewish museum. The new museum will focus on Swedish-Jewish history and highlight questions about the conditions of integration. The Government considers that the State should contribute funds for this initiative so as to promote dialogue and opportunities for learning.

Contact

Kristoffer Talltorp
Press Secretary to Minister for Culture and Democracy Alice Bah Kuhnke
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
Mobile +46 (0)72-542 80 32
email to Kristoffer Talltorp