More people concerned about the democratic development in Sweden

People’s concern about the democratic development in Sweden has increased over the past year. Almost every third person agrees on the whole that Swedish democracy is threatened, and 40 per cent feel that the basic democratic principles have been threatened in the past year. This is shown in a new survey on Swedes’ views on democracy in Sweden, conducted by Novus on behalf of Civil Rights Defenders.

“The concern is unfortunately justified. In recent years, we have seen a weakening of democracies in many countries, including in our vicinity in Europe. Unfortunately, Sweden is not immune to such a development, and not least the Tidö Agreement is a recent example that shows that the global trend of democratic dismantling is also approaching Sweden,” says John Stauffer, Legal Director at Civil Rights Defenders.

The survey, produced by Novus on behalf of Civil Rights Defenders, asked, among other things, whether the public perceives Swedish democracy as under threat, whether our basic democratic principles are threatened and how important it is to live in a democratic country.

More people feel that the basic democratic principles have been threatened

A year ago, Civil Rights Defenders conducted a similar survey. The figures from this year’s survey show that a significantly larger proportion (44 per cent) are more worried that Sweden is moving towards a more undemocratic country compared to 2021.

  • Nearly one in three people (31 per cent) broadly agree that Swedish democracy is under threat (28 per cent in 2021).
  • More people (40 per cent) feel that the basic democratic principles have been threatened in the past year.
  • A significant number more believe that it would have been positive for Sweden if the country were governed by a strong leader instead of several political parties (31 per cent compared to 25 per cent in 2021).
  • While 93 per cent state that it is important that the country they live in is democratic, the figure is significantly lower than the previous year (96 per cent in 2021). Among those who disagree, younger men, aged 18–29, report this to a greater extent.

The Tidö agreement leads Sweden in a repressive direction

The state of Swedish democracy has been a burning issue since the election, the subsequent Tidö agreement and the debate about the position of civil society. The agreement contains a number of measures that clearly contradict the human rights norms that Sweden is bound by and our own constitution.

“As a human rights organization, we are very concerned about the Tidö Agreement and how it will ultimately affect Swedish democracy. Fundamental rights and freedoms would be curtailed if the measures in the Tidö agreement become a reality, says John Stauffer.

Briefly about the survey

Novus conducted interviews with more than 1000 people who answered questions about Swedish democracy during the period 20–26 October, shortly after the Tidö agreement was presented. Read the full survey here. (Only in Swedish)

Want to know more?

Contact us for a comment on the democratic development in Sweden and Civil Rights Defenders’ criticism of the Tidö Agreement based on human rights and democracy.

Phone: +46 (0) 76 576 27 62 / E-mail:

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