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Talman Andreas Norlén tog emot Österrikes talman den 13 september 2021. De är på väg ut ur kammaren där även pressen är. Photo: Melker Dahlstrand

Official visit by the President of the National Council of Austria

On 13–15 September, the President of the National Council – the lower chamber – of the Austrian Parliament, Wolfgang Sobotka, made an official visit to Sweden and the Riksdag.

Partiledardebatt 15 sep 2021. Statsminister Stefan Löfven (S) i talarstolen Photo: Melker Dahlstrand

First debate between party leaders of the parliamentary year

On Wednesday 15 September, the first debate between party leaders of the parliamentary year was held. During the debate, the party leaders of all the parties represented in the Riksdag have the opportunity to argue in favour of the policies they wish to pursue. The debate was interpreted into English and can be watched on demand via the Riksdag webcast service.

Livgardet står uppställda vid Riksplan framför Riksdagshuset östra Photo: Melker Dahlstrand

The Riksdag session 2021 has begun

The opening of the Riksdag session on 14 September marked the start of the new parliamentary working year. One of the themes of this year's opening was that it is 100 years since women were able to vote on the same terms as men for the first time. 

President of Germany visits the Riksdag

On September 7th, the Speaker Andreas Norlén  received Germany's Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in connection with a state visit to Sweden. The theme of the state visit is innovation, sustainability and democracy. During his visit to the Riksdag, Federal President Steinmeier delivered a speech on the theme "Innovation and Partnership: Europe´s Path into the Future".

To the editorial office: Heavily limited number of places for the press at the opening of the Riksdag session on 14 September – application required

Journalists and photographers wishing to work in the Riksdag premises during the opening of the Riksdag session will require media accreditation to the Riksdag. Please note that you will need to apply in advance if you require a photo position or a seat in the press gallery. The number of seats is heavily limited on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Riksdagshuset med grönskande träd framför. Foto: Riksdagsförvaltningen

The Riksdag this summer

The new parliamentary year, the 2021/22 Riksdag session, will begin on 14 September. Members of the Riksdag will continue their parliamentary business in their home communities until the opening of the Riksdag session. For example, they may address written questions to Government ministers. Several of the parliamentary committees will be holding meetings in August. Provision will be made for interpellation debates in the Chamber on 2 September and 9 September. During the summer, the Riksdag can be convened quickly if necessary to consider urgent matters. As a result of the corona pandemic, all guided tours and visits to the Riksdag and the Democracy Workshop are cancelled until further notice.

Rules on parenthood to be modernised

The rules for the acknowledgement of parenthood, paternity investigations and for achieving a gender-neutral parenting presumption are to be modernised. The Riksdag has voted in favour of the Government's proposal.

The mixing of fossil-free fuel into petrol and diesel to increase

In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector, reduction levels for petrol and diesel will be gradually increased up to and including 2030. This means that fuel suppliers will increase the mixing of renewable or other fossil-free fuels into petrol and diesel. The Riksdag voted in favour of the Government's proposals, with certain minor amendments.

The Government should look into international adoptions as soon as possible

The Government should as soon as possible look into how Swedish authorities and adoption organisations have processed international adoptions to Sweden from countries such as Chile from the middle of the 20th century up to the present day. The Riksdag urged the Government by way of an announcement to act on this.

No to amendments to the regulatory framework on upper secondary level studies

The Riksdag has rejected the Government's proposal on amendments to what is commonly known as the "regulatory framework on upper secondary level studies".

Government urged to introduce sanctions for human rights

The Government should actively work for a broadening of EU legislation on restrictive measures, sanctions, against serious violations of and offences against human rights to include large-scale and systematic corruption and money laundering. Furthermore, the Government should prepare national sanctions legislation for human rights, similar to the EU legislation. The Riksdag therefore urged the Government to act on this by way of two announcements.

Preventive measures to be introduced against domestic violence

Several legislative amendments are to be made with the aim of preventing domestic violence. The Riksdag has voted in favour of the Government's proposal. For example, the social services and health and medical care services will, under certain conditions, be able to submit information to the Police Authority with the purpose of preventing a serious offence involving violence, violation of a woman's integrity or a sexual offence from being committed.

Better opportunities to investigate the sinking of the MS Estonia

Diving and other underwater activities may be permitted with the purpose of investigating the causes for the sinking of the passenger ferry MS Estonia in the Baltic Sea in September 1994. The Riksdag voted in favour of the Government's proposal to enable continued investigations in the protected maritime grave area.

Airplane against an evening sky Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen/ NTB scanpix/TT

The Government urged to consider the future of Bromma and Arlanda Airports

A decision on the future of Bromma Airport can be taken at the earliest once the aviation sector has recovered after the corona pandemic and it is possible to make reliable forecasts. Furthermore, the Government should get back to the Riksdag by December 2021 at the latest with a plan for the development of Arlanda Airport in order to ensure that there is sufficient flight capacity in the Stockholm area. This is the opinion of the Riksdag which is now calling on the Government by way of an announcement to act on this.

Sweden’s taxation agreements with Portugal and with Greece to be terminated

The Riksdag has voted in favour of the Government's proposal to terminate Sweden's taxation agreements with Portugal and Greece. In the case of Portugal, the reason for terminating the agreement is that the country has not yet introduced the amended provisions that the two countries had agreed on. In the case of Greece, the reason for terminating the agreement is to fight tax evasion and the fact that other parts of the agreement are deficient.

The Act on Polygamy and Marriage between Related Persons to be tightened

Polygamous marriages and marriages between related persons legal in other countries are no longer to be recognised in Sweden, even in cases where the people in question did not have a connection to Sweden when they got married. The ban will also apply retroactively for older marriages, as long as they have not been registered in the population data base. The Riksdag has voted in favour of the Government's proposal.

Changed rules for internal control of aliens and travel documents for aliens

The Riksdag has voted in favour of the Government's proposal on amendments to the Aliens Act and the Personal Data of Aliens Act.

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.

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.

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.