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Umeå Capital of Culture a task for cultural institutions

Logo for Umeå 2014 European Capital of Culture Photo: Robert Rösth

Twenty-two agencies and institutions in the cultural sphere have been tasked with working collaboratively with Umeå Municipality to look into their role ahead of and during Umeå's year as European Capital of Culture in 2014. The municipality of Umeå is preparing a programme based on eight Sami seasons and built around a range of programme areas.

New Chair of the Swedish Film Institute

On 15 December the Government appointed Göran K Johansson as the new Chair of the Swedish Film Institute Foundation (SFI) for the period 1 January 2012-31 December 2014. Prior to joining the SFI, Mr Johansson was Chair and CEO of Concerts Sweden.

Ministers study cultural heritage in practice

On 7 December, Minister for Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth and Minister for Employment Hillevi Engström visited Arkivcentrum, Upplandsmuseet and the State Archives in Uppsala to see examples of how the Boost for Cultural Heritage initiative will work in practice. The Boost for Cultural Heritage was presented in the Government's Budget Bill for 2012 and is an initiative that gives people with disabilities the chance to return to the labour market. Jobs are being created to digitise, inventory and preserve cultural heritage.

Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth

VAT exemptions for voluntary activities and match-fixing discussed at Council meeting in Brussels

Minister for Culture and Sports Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth took part today in the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council (EYCS) meeting in Brussels. Discussions at the Council meeting focused on VAT exemptions for voluntary activities, match-fixing and the growing importance of cultural and creative industries.

- The issue of match-fixing is important and there are problems in various parts of Europe, even if we are fortunate that it is not so common in Sweden. I have presented Sweden's position, stating that the role of the EU is unclear, and instead emphasised the responsibility of sport organisations and gaming companies, says Ms Adelsohn Liljeroth.

New State Secretary Joakim Stymne

State Secretary Joakim Stymne Photo: Marika Thorn Gillström/Government Offices of Sweden

The Government decided today to appoint Joakim Stymne as State Secretary at the Ministry of Culture. Mr Stymne will take up his position with immediate effect. From 2006 until now, Mr Stymne has worked as State Secretary for International Development Cooperation at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. As previously announced, State Secretary Ingrid Eiken is leaving the Ministry of Culture to take up a position on 15 February 2012 as Managing Director of Mäklarsamfundet (association of estate agents).

Björn Eriksson new national coordinator for safe sporting events

Björn Eriksson Photo: Government Offices of Sweden

Former County Governor Björn Eriksson was today appointed national coordinator to combat crime in connection with sporting events. His mandate includes working for better coordination between relevant government agencies and organisations at central, regional and local level.

In March 2011, the Government tasked the late County Governor Per Unckel with working to achieve better cooperation between relevant agencies and organisations at central, regional and local level to combat sports-related crime. He was also to help clarify the division of responsibility between relevant parties and facilitate efforts to draw up a uniform model for information exchange. Björn Eriksson will now continue this work. He is to regularly inform the Government Offices about this work and present proposals on how to combat crime in connection with sporting events. The final report is to be presented by 31 March 2013.

Decision on Boost for Cultural Heritage

On 15 December, a government decision was made concerning the ordinance on the regulatory framework for the Boost for Cultural Heritage. The Swedish National Heritage Board will be responsible for administering the initiative and the grants. It is estimated that the Boost for Cultural Heritage will result in some 4 400 people taking up development employment in the area of cultural heritage in 2012-2014.

The Government prioritises Baltic Sea issues

On Thursday the Government decided to mandate all 21 county administrative boards and 34 government agencies to work actively on Baltic Sea issues. The Government is also establishing a network of agencies to implement the EU Baltic Sea Strategy, under the leadership of the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth.

The agencies that come under the Ministry of Culture and which have been mandated with contributing to the implementation of the Strategy are the Swedish Museum of Natural History, the Swedish National Heritage Board and the National Maritime Museums.

Tomas Tranströmer and Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth Poet Tomas Tranströmer is awarded the honorary title of professor earlier this year. Photo: Ministry of Culture

Nobel Prize goes to Tomas Tranströmer

Poet Tomas Tranströmer is to receive the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature. In its motivation, the Swedish Academy says that Tranströmer is awarded the Prize "because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality".
"I, along with many others, am delighted at this well deserved accolade," says Minister for Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth.

In April this year, the Government awarded Tomas Tranströmer the honorary title of professor "for his outstanding contribution to writing, which has enriched both the Swedish language and world literature".

SEK 30 million to culture for the elderly

The Government decided today to allocate SEK 30 million to culture for the elderly. The aim is to promote the participation of elderly people in cultural life, both through cultural experiences and through their own creativity together with others.

- Cultural activities have a positive effect on health of people of all ages. This initiative allows more people to participate in cultural activities even later on in life, says Minister for Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth.

The Swedish Arts Council will be tasked by the Government to distribute funds to county councils, municipalities and private health care and social services providers to implement measures that promote efforts in this area.