Increased concern for democracy a year after the Tidö agreement shows a new survey
More and more Swedes are worried that Sweden is moving in an undemocratic direction, and more and more feel that our basic democratic principles have been threatened over the past 12 months. This is shown in a survey conducted by Novus on behalf of Civil Rights Defenders published today – one year after the Tidö Agreement was presented.
In recent decades, a global trend of democratic dismantling has spread at an ever-increasing pace. It follows a familiar pattern of democracy being eroded step by step, one right at a time, making dismantling sometimes difficult to detect before it is too late. For over 40 years, Civil Rights Defenders has worked for democracy and human rights together with human rights defenders globally. Our experience makes us well acquainted with the warning signs that anyone who cherishes democracy should be vigilant about.
Our survey of the perception of Sweden’s democracy shows two main things. Firstly, that democracy is important for basically all people in Sweden (96%) and that our politicians are expected to protect and stand up for human rights (92%). But the survey also shows that more and more people are worried that we are moving in an undemocratic direction (59%, compared to 44% in 2022) and feel that our basic democratic principles have been threatened in the past 12 months (65%, compared to 40% in 2022).
“A year after the Tidö Agreement was presented, it is obvious that more and more people are now worried about the democratic development in Sweden. 65% of Swedes feel that our basic democratic principles have been threatened in the last 12 months. This is an increase of 25 percentage points compared to last year. Our elected representatives must take these concerns seriously and live up to expectations that politicians respect human rights and stand up for a strong democracy”, said John Stauffer, Legal Director at Civil Rights Defenders.
When the Tidö Agreement was presented a year ago, we reacted immediately to the fact that the measures in the agreement indicated a worrying direction and reminded us of proposals from countries where fundamental rights and freedoms had been restricted or compromised. A year later, when these measures have slowly begun to become a reality, it is clear that more and more people share this concern.
Sweden’s democracy is still strong. The fact that more and more people are vigilant and feel that democracy is threatened, but at the same time, think it is important to live in a country that is democratic is a prerequisite for it to remain strong. There are many who see the warning signs, and the concerns of the Swedish public must be taken seriously.
About the survey
The survey was conducted by Novus on behalf of Civil Rights Defenders. The purpose is to investigate how the general public views democratic principles in Swedish society and to compare the results with last year’s survey. 1054 interviews were conducted during the period 29 September to 2 October.
Read the full survey here (currently only in Swedish, translation underway)
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