Sweden Country Report
The tacit agreement between the centre-left minority government and the mainstream centre-right opposition has temporarily isolated the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD), ensuring governability for minority governments. However, the SD is expected to perform strongly in the upcoming September 2018 election, undermining the current dynamics in Swedish politics. Terrorism risks are low, with lone-actor attacks being the most likely form of incident. There is a moderate risk of right-wing groups launching arson attacks against refugee centres.
Sweden has one of the world's most internationally integrated economies and welcomes foreign investment regardless of which government holds office. The transport and communications infrastructure are of the highest quality. From an international perspective, unit labour costs are comparatively high and labour laws very protective of workers' rights. However, workers are very well educated and relations between employers and trade unions generally accommodative. Administrative processes can be lengthy, but the public administration is transparent and incidents of corruption are rare.
On 7 April 2017, a hijacked truck was driven into crowds in central Stockholm, killing four and injuring 15 people in what according to police was an act of terrorism. The terrorism act highlights the continued risk of Islamic State-inspired vehicle-impact attacks. However, the risk of more complex and co-ordinated attacks similar to the November 2015 attacks in Paris is lower than in other Western European countries such as France or the United Kingdom, which are of greater strategic and symbolic significance.
Sweden recently reintroduced military service and stationed troops on Gotland, the largest island on the Baltic Sea, for the first time in a decade. These measures reflect the deteriorating security situation in the Baltic region, which follows growing Russian military assertiveness post-2014. War risks remain low, but there is a heightened risk of unintended escalation due to Russian aerial and maritime incursions into Swedish territory. Although Swedish membership in NATO remains unlikely in the one-year outlook, the situation could change if Finland, Sweden's historical ally, makes concrete strides towards accession.
The week-long riots in Stockholm and other cities in May 2013 and February 2017 represent the potential for unrest among disaffected youth. Protesters vandalised dozens of vehicles and properties, with total damages estimated at SEK63 million. Probable triggers for renewed rioting would be instances of police brutality, although the police would probably be better prepared for future outbreaks of rioting. The suburbs of Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö are most at risk. There is also a risk of violence in connection with neo-Nazi and anti-Nazi demonstrations across the country as a result of the refugee influx in recent years.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
No vaccinations are required to enter the country.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Tick-Borne Encephalitis: For stays in rural zones and for hiking enthusiasts (for children over the age of one).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Following the weather conditions in case of travelling is essential.
Potential visitors should take note of a few useful points prior to departure: vehicles are required to be fitted with snow tires from November 1 until April 30. The Swedish motorway is in excellent state.
The driving is on the right side of the road. Due to the important number of accidents linked to wild animals, it is advised to be very careful when driving outside of cities. There is no tolerance towards driving under the influence of alcohol. Drivers are charged a toll when entering or leaving Stockholm between 06:30 and 18:30 from Monday to Friday. An efficient ferry services operate between Sweden and neighboring countries on the Baltic Sea.
It should be noted that public transit systems are reliable and punctual. Modern trains offer travel throughout the country. In this calm country, social movement (e.g. a trade union strike that took place in June 2014 disrupting rail travel within Sweden and between Sweden and Denmark) or inevitable weather conditions during winter could impact on the travelers' comfort. Air and rail traffic often suffer from disruptions during the winter.
Taking a taxi, especially independent taxis or small companies, can be very expensive. It is advised to check the posted prices before leaving, as they can be exorbitant for numerous foreign travelers.
Despite its very northerly geographic position, Sweden enjoys a relatively temperate climate which varies by region. Summers can be very hot but become shorter and shorter as you head north. Winters can be very cold, particularly in the north. North of the Arctic Circle daylight is almost constant between mid-May and mid-June.
Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz