Parts of the Government’s policies are based on a policy agreement
Sweden is a wonderful country, but those of us who live here are facing major challenges together: climate change, inadequate integration, segregation and dependence on benefits, globalisation that continues to test our competitiveness, widening gaps, increasing polarisation and racism, gang crime, demographics, a housing shortage and an increasingly uncertain neighbourhood.
Parts of the Government’s policies are based on the January Agreement, which is a policy agreement between the Social Democratic Party, the Centre Party, the Liberal Party and the Green Party to effectively meet these challenges by breaking long-standing deadlocks and bringing about systemic changes that can be stable over time. The parties have differing ideological starting points, but are united in their defence of the foundations of liberal democracy: a strong rule of law, an unshakable protection of individual rights and freedoms, opposition to xenophobia, free and independent media, gender equality, equity and equal opportunities, regardless of background.
The agreement covers a total of 73 points in the following areas:
- Economy and public finances
- Jobs, enterprise and sustainable growth
- Growth throughout the country
- Environment and climate
- Integration and ‘honour’ crime
- Medical care and the elderly
- Safety, security and democracy
The cooperation applies from budget year to budget year, for as long as the parties agree to its continuation, with the aim of it extending for the entire electoral period.
Economy and public finances
The economic scope available is to be used to increase the incentives for work, to strengthen welfare, to implement the climate transition and to reduce the social divides between those who have jobs and those who are outside the labour market, between those who have lived for a long time in Sweden and those who recently arrived, between housing areas and regions. There is to be full preparedness for handling a situation in which the economy slows down. Ensuring good economic development, our future prosperity and good welfare in the future requires policies that prioritise jobs and promote the sustainable transition and competitiveness of industry and business.
Jobs, enterprise and sustainable growth
The Government is putting the climate and jobs first. A job is the most important prerequisite for earning a living and becoming established in society. Through reduced social divides and increased employment, everyone regardless of their background is given opportunities to succeed in life. The work-first principle applies. The Government is strengthening Sweden’s economy by promoting a more competitive and innovative business sector, and we are making it easier for people to become, operate and succeed as entrepreneurs.
Growth throughout the country
The Government’s policies will benefit the entire country. It must be possible for rural areas, sparsely populated areas and major cities to be developed. This is why railways, roads and homes are being built and repaired so that people can reside, live and work throughout the country.
Environment and climate
Sweden must take the lead in the climate and environmental area and become the world’s first fossil-free welfare country. By 2045, Sweden will have achieved net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Integration and ‘honour’ crime
Sweden has a major integration challenge. Those who receive a residence permit must quickly be given the opportunity to enter our society, stand on their own two feet and learn Swedish. Honour-related crime and oppression will be prevented and punished.
More housing is needed to make it easier for young people to get their first home, for people to move to where the jobs are, and to break the trend of increasing housing segregation. The housing market needs to be reformed so that more people’s needs can be met, the rules simplified and competition increased. More mixed housing areas are needed, with greater opportunities to get onto the property ladder. Mobility in the housing market is improved when property chains provide better utilisation of the housing stock.
Sweden must have high ambitions as a knowledge-based nation. The Government stands for a knowledge-based school system that puts the knowledge and efforts of pupils in focus. A policy is to be pursued that improves academic outcomes, improves conduct in classrooms and provides more equal opportunities for all pupils to complete their schooling.
Medical care and the elderly
The Government wants to shorten health and medical care queues through increased resources and better conditions for staff. There will be a particular focus on ill health among women. Having care available when we need it is a matter of security. The Government wants all people throughout the country to feel secure that they will be able to meet a doctor when they are sick. That they will not have to wait too long for treatment or an operation. This requires there to be an adequate number of trained health care staff.
In Sweden, growing old should be a positive experience. The financial circumstances of all pensioners will be improved and the resources for high quality elderly care will increase.
The Government is improving the prospects of a job, a good life and meaningful leisure time for everyone with any form of disability.
The temporary act will be extended for two years. At the same time, persons who are eligible for subsidiary protection will be given the same right to family reunification as refugees.
Maintenance requirement is being adjusted. Under current regulations, persons who are eligible for subsidiary protection, like refugees, already have a three-month respite from the maintenance requirement from the date of their residence permit being approved. The maintenance requirement is being adjusted so that a person who is eligible for subsidiary protection and receives the opportunity for family reunification and has already been granted a residence permit when the amendments come into force will receive a three-month respite from the entry into force of the new regulations.
The parties will draw up the future migration policy in a cross-party committee of inquiry. The parties have agreed to pursue a new humanitarian ground for protection in the cross-party committee of inquiry.
Safety, security and democracy
Security throughout Sweden will increase. Sweden’s defence will be strengthened. The Government is redoubling its efforts against organised crime, strengthening the police and fighting both crime and the causes of crime.
Democracy must be protected, both at home and abroad. Work to counter violent extremism, as well as anti-Ziganism, antisemitism, islamophobia and all other forms of racism, will be strengthened.
Reached in January 2019, the January Agreement is a policy agreement between the Social Democratic Party, the Centre Party, the Liberal Party and the Green Party. Parts of the Government’s policies are based on this agreement.