New rules to facilitate radio and TV broadcasts in the EEA

The Government has proposed legislative amendments in order to make it easier for radio and television companies to make their programmes available in other countries within the EEA. The Riksdag voted in favour of the proposal, which will result in the implementation of an EU directive in Swedish law.

The Act on Temporary Communicable Disease Control Measures at Venues Serving Food and Drink is to continue to apply

The Government has proposed that the Act on Temporary Communicable Disease Control Measures at Venues Serving Food and Drink should continue to apply until the end of September 2021. This is due to the continued high spread of COVID-19, the burden on health and medical care and the fact that the COVID-19 Act applies until the end of September 2021. The Act applies for a limited period of time and has already been extended once.

Armenian prisoners-of-war, Alexei Navalny and developments in Turkey among the issues discussed at the PACE spring session

On 19–22 April, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, PACE, held their spring session. The issues debated at the session included the need for a reform of the electoral system in Belarus, Armenian prisoners-of-war and the way democratic systems function in Turkey.

The Government must examine all potential opportunities in order to secure supply to COVID-19 vaccine

In the opinion of the Riksdag, the Government needs to examine all potential opportunities in order to secure supply to COVID-19 vaccine. The Government should also examine the possibilities of redistributing vaccine within the EU in order to give Sweden access to increased  and more rapid deliveries. The Riksdag therefore urged the Government by way of an announcement to act on this.

EU proposal on binding measures for increased pay transparency has been examined

The European Commission has presented a proposal on increased pay transparency. The purpose is to secure the right to equal pay for women and men for work of equal value. The Riksdag has examined the legislative proposal, and considers that the right to equal pay cannot be guaranteed in all EU member states without common measures at EU level.

Better security for bank cards and other means of payment

The Criminal Code is to be amended to ensure greater protection for non-cash means of payment such as bank cards and Swish against fraud and counterfeiting. The Riksdag voted in favour of the Government's proposal.

Compensation to risk groups should be extended until vaccination phase 3 has been completed

It should be possible to pay out sick pay as a preventive measure to risk groups until phase 3 of the vaccination plan against COVID-19 has been completed. This is the opinion of the Riksdag, which therefore called on the Government to act by way of an announcement.

Photo: Scandinav / TT

Additional amending budget: money for companies, sick pay costs, culture and sport, and new support for events

The Riksdag voted in favour of the Government's proposal on further measures in response to the continued spread of COVID-19. The proposal means that central government expenditure for 2021 will increase by SEK 23.3 billion.

The Government should clarify the direction of its security policy

The Riksdag considers that the Government should clarify the direction of its security policy and called on the Government to act on this by way of an announcement.

Provision in principle on academic freedom to be introduced

It should be possible for the search for and dissemination of knowledge to happen freely at universities and university colleges. This is a precondition for research and education on the basis of science and art, as it is for the role of institutes of higher education as an independent and critically reflective force in society. This is the opinion of the Riksdag, which voted in favour of the Government's proposal for a general principle for academic freedom to be introduced into the Higher Education Act.

The Committee on the Constitution’s hearings on scrutiny matters on 20, 22 and 26 April

The Committee on the Constitution will be holding hearings on 20, 22 and 26 April relating to the Committee's scrutiny, among other things, of the Government's actions in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. The scrutiny is based on reports from members of the Riksdag to the Committee on the Constitution and on committee initiatives. Several ministers will be heard, including Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (Social Democratic Party).

Amendment to the Redeployment Support Act

The Riksdag voted in favour of a minor amendment to the Redeployment Support Act. The Government has prolonged the redeployment support to entrepreneurs through amendments to the ordinances regulating this support on several occasions. The legislative amendment is an adaptation to these amendments, and means that entrepreneurs will not need to provide irrelevant information in their applications.

Support to the elderly care services as a result of amendments to the central government budget

The Riksdag has adopted amendments to the central government budget for 2021 in order to give increased support to the elderly care services. Central government expenditure will increase by approximately SEK 4.3 billion in 2021.

The Committee on the Constitution’s hearings on scrutiny matters on 9, 12 and 13 April

The Committee on the Constitution will be holding hearings on 9, 12 and 13 April relating to the Committee's scrutiny, among other things, of the Government's actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The scrutiny is based on reports from members of the Riksdag to the Committee on the Constitution and on committee initiatives. Several government ministers will be heard, including Minister for Health and Social Affairs Lena Hallengren (Social Democratic Party). Further hearings relating to the Committee's scrutiny will be held later in April.

The system for the EU’s own resources from 2021 onwards approved

The Riksdag has voted in favour of the Government's proposal to approve the amended rules for the EU’s own resources from 2021 onwards, as decided by the Council of Ministers. The new rules are to apply retroactively from 1 January 2021. All the member states of the EU have to approve the Council's decision to enable it to come into effect.

Orienteers run across a grass field towards the target area with spectators and flags. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

Additional amending budget: extended financial support to companies and a new guarantee support to culture and sport

The Riksdag partially voted in favour of the Government's proposal on further measures in response to the continued spread of COVID-19. These include an extension of financial support to companies as well as an extended borrowing limit to the Public Health Agency of Sweden to enable it to enter into further vaccine agreements. The Riksdag called on the Government to get back to the Riksdag with a proposal concerning guarantee support for culture and sport.

The Government should present concrete proposals for simpler permit processes in the mining industry

The Riksdag would like to see simpler permit processes and shorter processing times for the mining and minerals industry and it has therefore called on the Government to act on this by way of an announcement.

Photo: Tove Eriksson/TT

The Government should review the travel guarantee

The Government should review the current travel guarantee system to ensure greater economic protection for travellers. This is the opinion of the Riksdag which has called on the Government by way of an announcement to appoint an inquiry on the matter.

Sweden introduces safe country of origin regulations

The Riksdag voted in favour of the Government’s proposal to incorporate safe country of origin regulations in the Swedish Aliens Act. The regulations mean, among other things, that the Swedish Migration Agency will be able to consider an asylum application to be manifestly unfounded if the asylum seeker comes from a country included in a list of safe countries of origin.

Language training required for right to income support

A "language duty" is to be introduced, which means that an individual must, if necessary, participate in Swedish for Immigrants (sfi) training in order to be considered available for employment. The Riksdag voted in favour of the Government's proposed legislative amendment.