In 1921, the first Swedish parliamentary election in which both women and men had the right to vote took place. Which means that Swedish democracy is now celebrating its 100th anniversary. This jubilee is celebrated at a Democracy Day in Växjö this Thursday, at which Linnaeus University, Växjö municipality and Kronoberg County Administrative Board sign the democracy declaration from the government committee Democracy 100 years, which aims to gather and engage all forces that support democracy as governance.
As the first university, Linnaeus University joins the roughly 90 municipalities, government authorities and organisations, among them Kalmar County Administrative Board, which have already signed the declaration.
“A free academia is a precondition for a vital and initiated democratic dialogue. Education counteracts disinformation and anti-democratic forces and make citizens think independently. The education system provides the basis for a democratic society with respect for human rights. We are very happy that Linnaeus University now becomes the first university to sign the Declaration for a strong democracy”, says Peter Örn, chair of the committee Democracy 100 years.
A questioned democracy
The purpose of the declaration is to strengthen and develop democracy in Sweden and to make sure that it remains strong also in future centuries.
In addition to that all parties who sign the declaration are to take a stand for the equal value of all human beings and the fundamental freedoms and rights, all signatories have taken upon themselves to carry out activities that aim to put focus on and strengthen democracy.
“For us, it is important to sign this declaration. Democratic development requires an active knowledge base. We also contribute in a profiled way through the fact that one of our interdisciplinary knowledge environments works with the problems and challenges facing democracy, under the name A questioned democracy. To make sure that democracy stays vital is one of the most difficult and important societal challenges of our time”, says vice-chancellor Peter Aronsson.
Linnaeus University’s commitment is not about creating new projects. Instead, the university’s commitment focuses on further developing many of the democracy projects that are already ongoing. In addition to the fact that Linnaeus University will be a clear collaboration partner for the County Administrative Boards in Kalmar and Kronoberg, the university’s commitment involves a number of concrete goals.
“We will continue to develop our knowledge environments to set knowledge in motion for a sustainable societal development. We will also continue our work with Faktajouren.se, Demokratijouren.se, and the podcast Demokratibyggarna. What is more, we will develop our participation in Kalmarsunds Pride and Växjö Pride during each respective Pride week”, says Tobias Bromander, senior lecturer in political science, who is also part of the management team for A questioned democracy.
The declaration has been produced by the committee Democracy 100 years, which has been commissioned by the Swedish Government to plan, coordinate and implement measures and activities to strengthen democracy, during the period 2018–2021. The measures are gathered under the heading Our democracy – worth guarding every day.
In the beginning of 2022, all signatories of the declaration are to provide a short account of what activities have been carried out linked to the commitment.