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Sweden Government
 
 
 

General

Sweden is a constitutional monarchy, in which King Carl XVI Gustaf is head of state, but royal power has long been limited to official and ceremonial functions. The Economist Intelligence Unit, while admitting that democracy is difficult to measure, lists Sweden in first place in its index of democracy assessing 167 countries.

The executive authority of the government is vested in the cabinet, which consists of a Prime Minister and roughly 22 Ministers who run the government departments. The Ministers are appointed by the Prime Minister without any confirmation of the Parliament. The Prime Minister is first appointed by the Speaker of Parliament and then confirmed by Parliament. The monarch plays no part in this process.

The nation's modern legislative body is the Riksdag (Swedish Parliament), with 349 members, which chooses the Prime Minister. Parliamentary elections are held every years, on the third Sunday of September. Legislation may be initiated by the Cabinet or by members of Parliament. Members are elected on the basis of proportional representation for a four-year term. The Riksdag can alter the Constitution of Sweden, but only with approval by a supermajority and confirmation after the following general elections.

Swedish law, drawing on Germanic, Roman and Anglo-American law, is neither as codified as in France and other countries influenced by the Napoleonic Code, nor as dependent on judicial practice and precedents as in the United States.

Sweden is divided into 21 counties. In each county there is a County Administrative Board and a County Council. Each county is also divided into several Municipalities, in total 289. Stockholm is the capital of Sweden. The King, the Parliament and the Cabinet all sit in Stockholm. Up to 1968 when the Overgovernor's Office was incorporated into Stockholm County, it had a special status.

Sweden has been a member of the European Union since 1995, and as a consequence of a new world security situation the country's foreign policy doctrine has been partly modified, with Sweden playing a more active role in European security co-operation as well.

Overview

Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Sweden
conventional short form: Sweden
local long form: Konungariket Sverige
local short form: Sverige

Government type:
constitutional monarchy

Capital:
name: Stockholm
geographic coordinates: 59 20 N, 18 03 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October


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