Overview and recent developments

Simplification remains a cornerstone of Sweden’s regulatory policy. In the 2017 budget, simplification efforts focus on two areas: “Better service” and “More fit-for-purpose regulations”. The government will monitor “Better Service” efforts against how much easier and faster it becomes to submit information and receive a response. For the area "More fit-for-purpose regulations", the objective is for regulation to promote economic growth and to reduce regulatory compliance costs for businesses.

Ex ante evaluation is required for all primary laws and subordinate regulations by the 2007 Ordinance on Impact Analysis of Regulation. Ex post evaluation is normally conducted ad hoc by a ministry, government agency, or by a committee of inquiry. Individuals or interest groups can also make suggestions to conduct ex post evaluations by sending proposals directly to the responsible ministry or government agency. Sweden could consider expanding ex post evaluation through carrying out comprehensive in-depth reviews in particular sectors or policy areas.

Stakeholder engagement is deeply engrained into the law-making process in Sweden. One of the four fundamental laws of the Swedish Constitution requires the government to engage with stakeholders when formulating government instruments. When a committee of inquiry is appointed to investigate an issue, it normally includes a mix of policy makers, experts, and politicians, enabling consultation early in the process. The committee analyses and evaluates the proposal. The final report is sent to relevant stakeholders for consideration, before the joint draft procedure continues within the Government Offices. Ministries usually create a new webpage for each consultation. Sweden could introduce a central government portal to make it easier for stakeholders to find and participate in consultations as early in the process as possible.

Institutional setup for regulatory oversight

The Swedish Better Regulation Council was established in 2008, formally as an independent committee of inquiry appointed by the Government and since 2015 as a permanent structure. Its secretariat is located within the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth. The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth is responsible for methodological development, guidance and training in regulatory policy tools. The SAERG also develops and proposes simplifications measures, participates in international activities aimed at simplifying regulation for businesses, and promotes awareness among other government agencies of how businesses are affected by enforcement of regulation. An opinion from the Legislative Council in Sweden should normally be obtained before the parliament decides to adopt a law.

Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance (iREG): Sweden, 2018

Notes: The more regulatory practices as advocated in the OECD Recommendation on Regulatory Policy and Governance a country has implemented, the higher its iREG score.

Source: Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance Surveys 2014 and 2017, http://oe.cd/ireg.

 StatLink https://doi.org/10.1787/888933816079

Location of regulatory oversight functions: Sweden

Regulatory oversight functions

Centre of government

Ministry of Finance, Economy or Treasury

Ministry of Justice

Other ministries

Non-departmental body


Office of the Attorney General

Supreme audit institution

Part of the judiciary

Quality control of…


Stakeholder engagement

Ex post evaluation

Identifying policy areas where regulation can be made more effective

Systematic improvement of regulatory policy

Co-ordination of regulatory policy

Guidance, advice and support

Scrutiny of legal quality

Notes: ⚫ indicates that a given regulatory oversight function is covered by at least one body in a particular location. Data present the situation as of 31 December 2017 and do not reflect changes that may have taken place in 2018.

Source: Survey questions on regulatory oversight bodies, Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance Survey 2017, http://oe.cd/ireg.

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