News

The pandemic affects the work of the Riksdag during the autumn

25 August 2020 klockan 13.41

The ongoing pandemic will continue to affect the work of the Riksdag during the autumn, with just 55 members of the Riksdag present during votes, although all 349 members continue to be in service in exactly the same way as they were during the spring.

The special work procedures that applied during the spring will continue to apply this autumn. The measures are based on recommendations from the relevant authorities and agencies. The purpose is to ensure that parliamentary work can continue while at the same time reducing the risk of contagion.

Committees will be able to meet physically

One change in the work procedures this autumn is that the Speaker and the party group leaders have agreed that the parliamentary committees and the Committee on EU Affairs will be able to have meetings with, in principle, all 17 members physically present. The committees will therefore be meeting in rooms that are larger than their normal assembly rooms in order to ensure that members are able to maintain social distancing.

It will also continue to be possible for members to participate in these meetings digitally.

In March, the Riksdag elected a large number of extra deputy members to the committees and the Committee on EU Affairs to ensure that they were fully manned. These extra deputy members will remain unchanged during the autumn, apart from in the Committee on the Constitution, the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Defence.

55 members during votes

The party group leaders have agreed that just 55 members of the Riksdag will be present for votes in the Chamber, even though all 349 members continue to be in service. This agreement has now been extended and applies until 17 December.

Before each vote, the parties decide which members are to be present to vote. In other words, it is not the same 55 members who participate in every vote.
Since 16 April, there has been free seating in the Chamber when votes are taken. Free seating implies that members may sit wherever they choose so that they can sit farther apart.

Exception during the opening of the Riksdag session

On 8 September, the opening of the Riksdag session will take place, in other words, marking the start of the new parliamentary year. The Speaker has agreed with the party group leaders that 190 members of the Riksdag will be present in the Chamber during the opening. The reason is that a vote by qualified majority will be held the same day. The number of members will be the number (at least 175) required for the vote, plus a safety margin of 15 members so as to ensure that a sufficient number are present.

On account of the coronavirus pandemic, the opening of the Riksdag session will be different from previous opening ceremonies. The ceremony will take place in the Chamber, but not in full scale.

For further information please contact

  • The Speaker's Press Duty Desk: +46 8 786 44 00
  • The Riksdag Administration's Press Service: +46 8 786 62 00