National cultural policy objectives
Sweden’s cultural policy objectives, which have been adopted by the Riksdag, are national and steer central government cultural policy. It should also be possible to use the objectives to guide cultural policy in municipalities and county councils. In 2009, new national cultural policy objectives were established. The objectives are: Culture is to be a dynamic, challenging and independent force based on the freedom of expression. Everyone is to have the opportunity to participate in cultural life. Creativity, diversity and artistic quality are to be integral parts of society’s development.
To achieve the objectives, cultural policy is to:
• promote opportunities for everyone to experience culture, participate in educational programmes and develop their creative abilities;
• promote quality and artistic renewal;
• promote a dynamic cultural heritage that is preserved, used and developed;
• promote international and intercultural exchange and cooperation in the cultural sphere; and
• pay particular attention to the rights of children and young people to culture.
The Government has pointed out three major priorities for its cultural policy:
• the right of children and young people to have access to cultural experiences and artistic expressions;
• preservation and display of Swedish cultural heritage; and
• to promote a better situation for artists and creators.
Diversity as well as internationalisation, intercultural exchange and cooperation are given attention in the cultural policy objectives. It is just as important that Swedish culture can reach across borders as it is for Sweden to be open to inspiration from other countries. From the point of view of cultural policy, it is important to insist on the necessity of quality, artistic integrity, mutuality and sustainability in international exchanges. Increased international contacts have contributed significantly to society becoming intercultural, with a mixture of expressions and experiences, both at the individual level and that of society.
To achieve the cultural policy objectives, it is written in the Government’s instructions to all government agencies in the area of culture that they “in their activities (are to) integrate gender equality, diversity and children’s perspectives, as well as international and intercultural exchange and cooperation”. These perspectives should be seen as an integrated part of all cultural policy.
Other objectives that also affect Swedish cultural policy are, for example, the Swedish Government’s long-term goal to ensure full respect for human rights in Sweden.