Transparency in Sweden

When we plan and set out to travel abroad, a lot of anxieties and expectations ordinarily come teeming in our minds. Possibly, we worry a lot about what that new destination would turn out to be, the kind of receptions foreigners get and the general shocks to contend with. The situation won’t be any different for those people at the verge of coming to Sweden. It may be an entirely new set of experience that potentially throws one off balance if not well prepared to adjust. Whenever the term culture shock is mentioned, all that comes to mind are happenings in a new environment that are inconsistent with what we know. Such a deduction is correct only that most people figure out that the shocks come from controversial issues. This is wrong as in Sweden, transparency levels stand out and honesty is the royal mark of residents. This statement should not in any way be interpreted to mean that everyone in Sweden lives by the precepts of Scandinavian transparency. 

Also know Best ways to send money abroad from Sweden.

Getting to understand Transparency as a winning attribute 

Transparency is a very significant component of Swedish tradition. It started as early as in the year 1766 when Sweden introduced the freedom of press into its constitution. Freedom of press came packaged as a constitutional right that included the principle of freedom and information. 

Therefore, the Swedes and the mass media in Sweden generally could have access to public records. This is the single foundation towards the attitude of disclosure and transparency in Sweden. As an expat coming into Sweden, you have no choice but rather to strive and fit into this legendary culture.

A general sense of national transparency in Sweden

The national attitude of transparency and openness has a great impact on the attitudes of each Swedish or fully integrated expats. However, this is a great component that impacts great attitudes on business especially corporate governance, compliance and ethics in Sweden. Transparency and openness form a significant part of Swedish democracy. When coming to Sweden as an expert, this is just one key aspect of Swedish culture that you must understand well and know what is expected of you.

Well, if you want to know just how serious this is, be informed that it is not just a paper affair. International organisations’ also have statistics to confirm that Sweden is number three country in the world in terms of transparency. So, it is not just a by the way topic for it is in history for Sweden as a country registering the least corruption instances. An expatriate who wants to work in Sweden must know some basic things about the Swedish economy, norms, and culture.

Transparency Levels in Sweden

Every country has their own identity and culture and Sweden has one particular culture that makes them unique. In Sweden,  transparency without obstruction remain true virtues. It is a class of its own exhibiting a fascinating journey which has remained to be quite exemplary to many other countries in the world. It remains to be something that has existed in Sweden for a very long time.

Looking back at the year when the former Swedish Minister Tage Erlander died in 1985, it was quite exemplary what his wife did. The wife showed up at the Swedish Government’s office with the box labelled, “Property of the Treasury”. She noted that since her husband will not be needing them anymore, they weren’t hers to keep and that’s why she brought them back. This story perfectly fits in the mindset of what it really means to hold a public position in Sweden.

Public sector is for the common good and not for power or security

In Sweden, one perception remains strong and alive that the public sector is for the common good and not for power or security. This is an inbuilt perception that has evolved for many years in Swedish culture such that doing otherwise would sound strange. Sweden has given itself the means to deter corruption from happening which is something that every expatriate coming to Sweden must learn. It is a fact that the Nordic countries have one of the most outstanding integrity levels globally.

One aspect worth noting is the means towards achieving high levels of integrity. It is a strong commitment by leaders, the freedom of press, the low inequality rates, 100% literacy rates, high GDP per capita, and freedom of information. The government’s openness and effectiveness however, has been a backbone to instil a strong base of the culture of transparency in Sweden.

What an Expat Coming to Sweden must Know

Coming to Sweden remains to be a very exciting ordeal for any expat. Both the cultural and historical heritage are some of the most outstanding aspects that would strike an expat. Openness and transparency are vital components of the Swedish democracy aiding the protection of the Swedish democratic society. So, it doesn’t matter which country you are coming in from.  While in Sweden, you have the right to freely seek and access information. 

  • Freedom of Press in Sweden

Glued on the freedom of expressing self and of speech, it forms a backbone of most democracies. Sweden was the very first country to have freedom of press in its constitution as early as 1766. Press freedom in Sweden is self evident  through those in authority remaining accountable. Also, authorities bear a fiduciary duty to at all times ensure that public information becomes available in declassified forms all the time. So, as an expat you need to know that while in Sweden, you have the right to express your opinion without fear especially if its towards a good course.

  • The Principle of Public Access in Sweden

The general public in Sweden has access to official records and a chance to perform scrutiny on government activities. This happens across the national, regional and local levels hence reduces the chances of power abuse. As a civil servant or other people also enjoy the freedom of whistle blowing if they notice any forms of mischief. As an expat, come and identify your place and know your obligations when it comes to transparency levels in Sweden. 

  • Openness is Inclusive of Equality and Human Rights

In Sweden, public power and any other power has to be tendered with respect. Ultimately, the exercise of  authority and influence must be  in such a way that advances collective good while limiting grandiose self gratification. This will also be inclusive of the freedom and dignity of every individual. You don’t experience disadvantage in anyway even if  identifying self as belonging to the minority group in terms of gender, ethnicity, religion, age, or sexual orientation. Yes, transparency in Sweden is a vast topic that covers every aspect of life.

  • Openness exists on the Internet as well

Transparency in Sweden goes a long way to the extent of having a Swedish website, This website keeps open government data. It offers NGOs helpful information while aiding entities, individuals and every official access to official government data. The main agenda is to widen the base of transparency and openness in humanitarian push thus inspire other institutions. 

Many institutions and individuals draw their transparency goals and motives towards the public from this government drive. Most Swedes have a connection to the internet and nearly all have internet access in their homes especially via fibre. All Swedes shall have been connected to the internet by the year 2025 according to the broadband strategy. As they say information is power, transparency has enlightened most Swedes towards the direction of high levels of integrity. 

Author: Fredrick