Form of Government

The Form of Government in Europe

Basic principles of the form of the Government in Sweden

In the Swedish Constitution: The Instrument of Government (SFS nr: 1974:152)

Chapter 1 of the Instrument of Government has the headline “Basic principles of the form of government”. Here is the content of Chapter 1:

  • Article 1 provides the following: All public power in Sweden proceeds from the people. Swedish democracy is founded on the free formation of opinion and on universal and equal suffrage. It shall be realised through a representative and parliamentary polity and through local selfgovernment. Public power shall be exercised under the law.
  • Article 2 provides the following: Public power shall be exercised with respect for the equal worth of all and the liberty and dignity of the private person. The personal, economic and cultural welfare of the private person shall be fundamental aims of public activity. In particular, it shall be incumbent upon the public institutions to secure the right to health, employment, housing and education, and to promote social care and social security. The public institutions shall promote sustainable development leading to a good environment for present and future generations. The public institutions shall promote the ideals of democracy as guidelines in all sectors of society and protect the private and family lives of private persons. The public institutions shall promote the opportunity for all to attain participation and equality in society. The public institutions shall combat discrimination of persons on grounds of gender, colour, national or ethnic origin, linguistic or religious affiliation, functional disability, sexual orientation, age or other circumstance affecting the private person. Opportunities should be promoted for ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities to preserve and develop a cultural and social life of their own.
  • Article 3 provides the following: The Instrument of Government, the Act of Succession, the Freedom of the Press Act and the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression are the fundamental laws of the Realm. (see more about the Constitution of Sweden here)
  • Article 4 provides the following: The Riksdag is the foremost representative of the people. The Riksdag enacts the laws, determines State taxes and decides how State funds shall be employed. The Riksdag shall examine the government and administration of the Realm.
  • Article 5 provides the following: The King or Queen who occupies the throne of Sweden in accordance with the Act of Succession shall be the Head of State. The provisions of this Instrument of Government which relate to the King shall apply to the Queen if the Queen is Head of State.
  • Article 6 provides the following: The Government governs the Realm. It is accountable to the Riksdag. (see more about the Constitution of Sweden here)
  • Article 7 provides the following: Sweden has municipalities and county councils. The decision-making power in these local authorities is exercised by elected assemblies. The local authorities may levy taxes in order to perform their tasks.
  • Article 8 provides the following: Courts of law exist for the administration of justice, and central and local government administrative authorities exist for the public administration. (see more about the Constitution of Sweden here)
  • Article 9 provides the following: Courts of law, administrative authorities and others performing tasks within the public administration shall have regard in their work to the equality of all before the law and shall observe objectivity and impartiality.

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