2016-09-13

HM The King’s speech at the Opening of the Parliamentary Session, Tuesday 13 September, 2016

(The spoken version shall take precedence)

Mr Speaker,
Distinguished members of the Swedish Riksdag,

We have gathered here today to begin a new parliamentary year. You will now continue your important work to carry our nation forwards.

We live in a globalised world. Many recent events have shaken the world, including Sweden. It is clearer than ever before that what happens outside Sweden’s borders also affects us.

The European Union has also come under strain. We must continue to believe in cooperation between countries and in a union that guarantees peaceful collaboration.

Sweden has been at peace for more than 200 years, and is now one of the world’s most prosperous nations. But things have not always been this way. Just over a century ago, we were a poor country from which people emigrated. Over the course of the last 150 years, Sweden has become a nation where many people want to come to live. Today, thousands of Swedes also move abroad each year to work or study.

I hope that all Swedes, both here in Sweden and abroad, stand up for our values. Values such as belief in the equal worth of all people, equality between women and men, and belief in democratic government and the freedom of religion and speech.

Sweden has a long tradition of striving for peace, security and human rights in various different international contexts.

Our new seat on the UN Security Council now gives us an opportunity to do even more to have our voice heard on the global stage. I hope that we will make good use of this opportunity. In just a week’s time, a summit will be held in New York on the global refugee situation. This is an important meeting, and will be co-arranged by Sweden.

Continued development for Sweden contributes towards the constant renewal of working life through entrepreneurship and innovation.

This requires continued world-class research and development, together with schools and universities where knowledge and learning take top position.

Our cultural heritage is the glue that binds us together. It is rich and varied, and is the result of influences from different countries over the centuries.

We develop by coming together in a spirit of mutual respect, and by listening to and learning from each other. This is why fruitful discussions between people is so important.

Distinguished members,

You are elected by those citizens who are eligible to vote today. But the choices you make will also affect the future for many more people.

Sweden’s children and young people depend on you making wise and sustainable decisions.

Mr Speaker,

With these words I would like to wish all of you – the elected representatives of the Swedish people – the strength, the courage and the wisdom to lead our nation onwards in progress that benefits all citizens.

I hereby declare the 2016/2017 Parliamentary Session open.