Mon, April 23, 2012

Quick facts about Sweden

2012-04-23 08:36:51 GMT2012-04-23 16:36:51(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Swedish flag

Sweden is in northern Europe and the capital is Stockholm. The Population is 9,000,000 and in Stockholm 711,000 (Greater Stockholm: 1,700,000).

The total area of Sweden is 449,964 sq. km (173,732 sq. mi).

Stockholm is a beautiful city with Lake Mälaren on it’s West Side and the Baltic Sea on it’s East Side.

Stockholm is surrounded by water and every year a water festival are held in August.

Sweden is a member of the European Union (EU).

Sweden is called "The land of the midnight sun" or "The land of the Vikings".

Anthem: Du Gamla Du Fria (Thou Ancient, Thou Free).

National Day: June 6.

The Swedish flag is based on the Scandinavian Cross design first adopted by Denmark about 800 years ago. The colors were taken from the Swedish coat of arms, which depicts three golden crowns on a blue background. The flag has a yellow cross on a blue background.

The Swedish Parliament & Government

The Swedish Parliament is called Riksdag and is situated in Stockholm. The house of Parliament is called Riksdagshuset. There are 349 Members of Parliament (MP:s).

The Prime Minister is called Statsminister in Sweden.

Elections to the Riksdag are held regularly on the third Sunday of September every four years

All Swedish citizens domiciled in Sweden and who have reached the age of 18 by Election Day may take part in the election to the Riksdag.

 Monarchy

Sweden is a monarchy. King Carl XVI Gustaf, who acceded to the throne in 1973, is the 74th King of Sweden and belongs to the Bernadotte dynasty, which has ruled Sweden since 1818.

The King is the Head of State and his functions and duties are defined in the 1974 Constitution Act.

 

Local Governments

There are three levels of governments; national level, the counties and the municipalities.

County Council

In each county (län) there is a county council (Länstyrelse). The County Governor is called Landshövding in Swedish and is appointed by the central government.

The County Council is a democratic institution meaning that elected representatives establish the guidelines for Council activities and ensure that Council resources are fairly distributed to the various parts of the county.

The County Council Assembly is the county council’s supreme decision-making body. The members of the Assembly are the public’s representatives and Assembly meetings (5-6 annually) are open to the general public. Within the Assembly there are three standing committees each of which is responsible for scrutinizing and supervising Council undertakings and serving as links between the Assembly and the county’s residents.

The major responsibilities for the County Council are health and medical care, dental care, education and culture.

 The municipalities

In each county there is a number of municipalities (kommun), each with it’s own Municipal Council, Kommunfullmäktige (Town Council). Also the Municipality Council is a democratic institution with elected representatives. The municipality council’s supreme decision-making body is called kommunstyrelsen.

In total there are 286 municipalities. The Municipal Councils control local government and taxation. For example schools, fire protection, water and sewer systems, local roads, local distribution of power etc.

Police protection, highways and major roads, power plants etc. are matters handled by the national government. 

 

(Agencies)

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