4.2.8 Social cohesion and cultural policies
Social cohesion is defined by the Council of Europe as "the capacity of a society to ensure the welfare of all its members, minimising disparities and avoiding polarisation. A cohesive society is a mutually supportive community of free individuals pursuing these common goals by democratic means". The goal of modern Swedish cultural policy is to increase access to culture for everyone living in Sweden, both through access to culture of high quality and by enabling more people to practice cultural and artistic activities. Hence, participation and social cohesion is at the very core of Swedish cultural policy.
Objectives of the integration policy (referring to all parts of the administration) are equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for everyone, irrespective of ethnic and cultural background; social cohesion built on diversity; social development characterised by mutual respect, irrespective of background, (should participate and share a sense of community). Ethnic and cultural diversity is the point of departure for shaping general policies in all sectors and at all levels of society. High priority is given to addressing segregation in Swedish society, as well as to efforts to combat racism, xenophobia, and ethnic discrimination. Integration efforts focus on creating opportunities that enable individuals to economically support themselves and participate in society, safeguarding basic democratic values and working to secure equal rights and opportunities for women and men.