EXPLAINED: What changes in Sweden in December 2022?

Ankita Sharma
Ankita Sharma - [email protected]
EXPLAINED: What changes in Sweden in December 2022?
Guests at the Nobel Banquet at Stockholm City Hall in 2019. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Sweden's budget goes to vote in parliament, electricity bill subsidy payment, planning for Sweden’s EU Council Presidency, Nobel Prize Day, Saint Lucia's Day, and the oncoming of Christmas. Here's what's coming in Sweden this December.


Parliament to vote on budget

On the 13th of December, Sweden's parliament is due to vote on the government's budget for 2023.

For the former Social Democrat government, every budget involved juggling the competing demands of the economically liberal Centre and Liberal Parties and the former communist Left Party. Twice the party had to rule on the budget drawn up by the right-wing opposition. 

But Sweden's new government has a three-seat majority backed by parties, who, for now at least, are in agreement, so the budget should pass without too much difficulty. 

Having said that, this is an economically conservative budget that has managed to disappoint almost everyone but the inflation hawks in Sweden's central bank. 



Preparations for Swedish Presidency of the European Union

Sweden's Presidency of the Council of the EU formally begins on January 1st, so December will see heightened press coverage of what Sweden's government hopes to achieve and what demands will be put upon it. 

A big priority will be successfully concluding negotiations for the “Fit for 55” package, which aims to push EU member states to all play their part in the EU reaching its goal of reducing emissions by 55 percent by 2030. 

Lars Danielsson, the ambassador leading Sweden's permanent representation to the EU, wrote in a press release in November that as well as climate, Sweden's other priorities are energy, migration and security. 

Here are the country's political priorities for the presidency (in no particular order). 

  • Providing security for EU citizens and strengthening the EU’s role in the world
  • Stopping organised crime
  • Speeding up the climate transition
  • Strengthening the EU’s competitiveness for the jobs of the future
  • Safeguarding the EU’s fundamental values


Nobel prizes 

The award-giving ceremony for Sweden's six Nobel prizes, and the following celebratory banquet, takes place on December 10th. This is the first time the glitzy event in Stockholm City Hall has been held since the Covid-19 pandemic, so it's likely to get significant coverage in the Swedish press.

The French writer Annie Ernaux, who has won the Nobel Prize in Literature, will hold a press conference in Stockholm on December 6th and then give a lecture on December 7th. 

Sweden's version of the Oscars

The nominations for the Guldbagge awards, Sweden's version of the Oscar film awards, are announced on December 15th, although to find out the winner you will have to wait for the award ceremony on January 23rd. 

Will Sweden end its obligatory ID controls on ferries? 

On December 31st, the obligatory controls on ferries Sweden brought in to keep tabs on the level of migration from Ukraine is due to expire, but Sweden's government on November 22nd published a bill which would extend it to June 2023. 


St Lucy's Day/St Lucia 

The festival of St Lucia, which marks the start of Sweden's long Christmas period, is on December 13th. Those with children will not be able to miss their kindergarten, school, or choir Lucia concerts. Others can enjoy one of the many concerts and Lucia processions put on at churches and in parks around the country. 

Christmas holidays 

Sweden's schools generally break up only a few days before Christmas Eve, with schools in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö all breaking up on December 22nd, giving families just enough time to travel to see grandparents, cousins and the like before the big celebrations, which are held on December 24th in Sweden. 

Polar night descends on far north of Sweden

Just before lunch on November 30th, the sun sets on Treriksröset, with it not coming up above the horizon again until January 12th. The polar night will extend south throughout early December, reaching Kiruna on December 11th.

The boundary for polar night is just above the northern Arctic Circle at 67 degrees north.

Days begin to get longer again

An especially important date for those living in the Arctic Circle is the 21st of December, the shortest day of the year.

After this date, days begin to lengthen, with more sunlight per day (for those areas of the country with sunlight at this time of year.


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