Spurred by the raging public health crisis, the Swedish government is looking into the possibility of constitutional amendments to make it easier to protect society against future crises, ranging from pandemics to terrorist attacks.
According to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it has become clear that there is reason to review the government’s powers during such crises.
At a press conference, Löfven explained that the Swedish constitution opens up a number of opportunities to protect the population during wartime. However, more leeway is needed to implement measures during peacetime crises, such as pandemics, terrorist attacks, or natural disasters.
According to the Swedish Interior Minister, Löfven’s fellow Social Democrat Mikael Damberg, it is a matter of the government in certain situations being able to take over parts of the parliament’s duties. The goal is for the government to be able to quickly make decisions on measures that usually require legislation in the parliament.
“It is not about a state of emergency, but about a division between the government and the parliament,” Damberg explained.
A committee will thus be appointed to assess the possibility and scope of future legislative changes. All the political parties in the Swedish parliament will be represented in the committee. The committee’s report is expected to be completed sometime after the Swedish election in 2022.