4.2.3 Cultural/creative industries: policies and programmes
Sweden has no single official definition of the creative industries. The most commonly used approach originates with The Knowledge Foundation (KK-stiftelsen) and includes "architecture, computer and TV games, design, film, photography, the arts, literature, the media, market communication, fashion, music, cuisine, scenic arts, tourism and experience based learning". Since 2007 the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications cooperate on issues regarding cultural and creative industries. The aim is to develop opportunities for the cultural and creative industries. The Minister for Culture and the Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Communications have hosted seminars and dialogues at which representatives of both culture and business met to talk about what is needed to develop the cultural and creative industries. This has resulted in an action plan for cultural and creative industries involving the investment of SEK 13 million. A Council for Cultural and Creative Industries has been appointed to support government ministries in their work on these issues. It appears that support for cultural and creative industries will become an increasingly important focus for cultural policy on the national and, especially, on the regional and local levels of government.
As in the other Nordic countries, Swedish authorities have not traditionally had a specific policy towards such industries. However, schemes have for a long time existed to support quality production in the areas of books and art periodicals, music and film. These support systems play an important role in Swedish cultural policy. For example:
In 2002, the VAT rate for books was reduced from 25 to 6%. The chief motive was the promotion of reading generally. Results point to lower retail prices and increased reading of fiction literature though mainly within groups already reading books.
The Interactive Institute is a governmental initiative financing projects in creative virtual thinking, as proposed by artists, scholars, and partners within the commercial and industrial sectors. In later years, regional development plans have, in a few cases, included the establishment of Industrial Development Centres (IUC) and support and cooperation with the culture industries.
Much more than on the national level, cultural and creative industries tend to be in focus on the local, and to some extent on the regional, level. Several Swedish cities and less populated municipalities have made efforts to use culture as a means to revive the local economy and make the municipality a more attractive place to live or invest. Such efforts are often guided by the notion of cultural planning, focusing on mapping and making use of all of the cultural resources available in the local cultural life. Especially noted for such efforts are for example, Malmö City and the regional government of South Småland.