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Sweden/ 2. General objectives and principles of cultural policy  

2.3 Cultural policy objectives

In 2007 and 2008, Swedish cultural policy was evaluated by the Cultural Policy Commission. A Government Bill on Culture, based on the recommendation of the Commission, as well as on the criticism directed at it, was adopted by parliament in 2009. It states the following objectives for Swedish national cultural policy:

“Culture should be a dynamic, challenging and independent force based on the freedom of expression. Everyone should be able to participate in cultural life. Creativity, diversity and artistic quality should mark society's development.

To reach the objectives cultural policy should:

  • promote everyone's opportunity to cultural experiences, cultural education and to develop their creative capabilities;
  • promote quality and artistic renewal;
  • promote a living cultural heritage which is preserved, used and developing;
  • promote international and intercultural exchange and cooperation; and
  • especially notice the right to culture of children and the young.”

The objectives of Swedish cultural policy are thus similar to objectives on the EU level and among the other EU member states, such as the promotion of cultural diversity, support of creativity, participation in cultural life, and respect for cultural rights. They also have much in common with previous Swedish objectives (decided in 1974 and 1996).

Cultural education (here used as an English translation for the Swedish word bildning) and artistic quality were added as explicit objectives in 1996. This should be understood as an affirmation of an already established view, rather than as a change of direction. The most important change in the revision of 2009 was that the objective of “counteracting the negative effects of commercialism” was removed. This signifies a more positive view of the role of the business sector in cultural policy.

Chapter published: 12-05-2017

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