One of the key tasks of the Riksdag is to take decisions. There are 15 parliamentary committees with the task of ensuring that all items of parliamentary business are considered thoroughly before any decisions are taken. In addition, the Riksdag has a Committee on European Union Affairs. The Government is to consult the Committee on European Union Affairs ahead of meetings of the Council of Ministers on what line Sweden should pursue with regard to various EU policies.
The committees present proposals as a basis for decisions by the entire Riksdag. They also follow up and evaluate decisions by the Riksdag and work with research issues and future developments
Furthermore they are responsible for examining EU proposals and writing statements on certain EU documents. The Government sometimes confers with the committees on EU matters relating to the committees' respective areas of responsibility. The committees also monitor the compliance of EU proposals with what is known as the principle of subsidiarity, according to which decisions are to be taken as close to the citizens as possible.
Each of the parliamentary committees has 17 members representing the parties in proportion to their relative strengths in the Riksdag. This means that the larger parties have more members than smaller parties. The members of the Riksdag devote a great deal of time to their work in the committees.
The Committee on European Union Affairs
The Riksdag is made up of eight political parties, often with differing opinions on the policies Sweden should pursue in the EU. During the Government's consultations with the Committee on EU Affairs, the Government discusses with the Riksdag what line Sweden should take on various EU matters prior to meetings of the Council of Ministers. The Government is expected to observe the Committee's positions.
The Committee on EU Affairs has 17 members who represent the parties on the same basis as in the parliamentary committees.