In the Government's Spring Fiscal Policy Bill, which is being published today, initiatives are presented that are intended to strengthen the conditions for creativity, participation and diversity in Sweden. The Government's initiatives include increasing the allocation to the Creative Schools initiative, drafting a national library strategy and initiating an extensive education campaign about racism and intolerance.
"This is a budget that means more culture for more people. In reality it means that more children and young people will have the chance for early contact with culture. Libraries will also receive the recognition they deserve, and the Spring Fiscal Policy Bill also means that regional culture will regain the resources that were lost last autumn," says Minister for Culture and Democracy Alice Bah Kuhnke.
Creative Schools initiative supplemented to include preschool
The Government proposes increasing the allocation to the Creative Schools initiative by SEK 10 million for 2015. This investment will go to professional cultural activities in preschool. By expanding the initiative to also include preschool, opportunities are created for professional artistic and cultural activities for the youngest of children. The Government's assessment is that the allocation should also be increased by the equivalent amount annually in 2016-2018.
Preparing a library strategy for all of Sweden
SEK 23 million is being allocated in 2015-2018 to produce a strategy for the Swedish library system.
The Government proposes that the National Library of Sweden be instructed to draft a strategy to promote cooperation and quality development throughout the Swedish library system. This assignment will also include continuing the work of making eBooks available via the national Libris catalogue. Therefore, SEK 5 million will be allocated for this purpose in 2015. It is estimated that the allocation will subsequently be increased by SEK 6 million annually in 2016-2018 for this purpose.
Major education campaign about racism and intolerance
SEK 25 million will be set aside in 2015-2017 to implement an education campaign about racism and different forms of intolerance. The Living History Forum will be assigned this task, in cooperation with the National Agency for Education, and include awareness-raising initiatives about racism and similar forms of intolerance, such as Afrophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-Ziganism, Islamophobia, homophobia and transphobia. The aim is to create an equal society characterised by respect for the equal value and rights of all people and to promote democracy.
Work for Roma inclusion remains a priority
The overall goal of the strategy for Roma inclusion, which is in effect until 2032, is that Roma who turn 20 years of age in 2032 are to have the same opportunities in life as non-Roma. The Government's work on the strategy for Roma inclusion therefore remains important and will be allocated SEK 13 million annually for the period 2016-2019.
Ongoing culture initiative in Million Homes Programme areas
The Swedish Arts Council and the Public Art Agency Sweden will receive a total of SEK 2 million to prepare a culture initiative in the Million Homes Programme areas. The Government will subsequently contribute a total of SEK 170 million to the initiative in 2016-2018.
Access to cultural activities and a stimulating living environment are crucial to both our wellbeing and democratic participation. This funding will support cultural initiatives from local civil society organisations that want to become involved in the development and artistic configuration of their neighbourhoods.
Cultural cooperation model to receive additional SEK 15 million
The Government proposes raising the allocation to regional cultural cooperation models by SEK 15 million. The Government's ambition is for culture to reach more people throughout the country and be more equal. Regional culture plays an important role in this.
The aim of the cultural cooperation model is for regional priorities and variations to have a greater impact, and to promote cooperation among state, regional and local actors.
Re-election in Båstad Municipality
SEK 14 million is being allocated in 2015 to conduct a re-election to the municipal council in Båstad Municipality. The Election Review Board has decided to hold a re-election in Båstad Municipality following an appeal against the 2014 election results. The re-election will be held on 10 May 2015. Funds will therefore be allocated to the Election Authority for its costs, and to government subsidies to the municipalities for their participation.
Increased support to faith communities' security management
In 2015, SEK 7 million will be allocated to the increased security management of faith communities. Following the attacks in Paris and Copenhagen, there has been an increase of vandalism and threats targeting various faith communities and their representatives.
Freedom of religion is central in a democracy and it is very important that all citizens have the opportunity to practice their religion.