Essay on Sweden

This essay has a total of 667 words and 4 pages.

Sweden

History, Science and Technology, Justice, and Environmental Issues of Sweden

During the seventh and eighth centuries, the Swedes were merchant seamen well known for
their trade. In the ninth century, Nordic Vikings raided and ravaged the European
Continent as far as the Black and Caspian Seas. During the 11th and 12th centuries, Sweden
slowly became a united Christian kingdom that later included Finland. Queen Margaret of
Denmark united all the Nordic lands in the "Kalmar Union" in 1397. Frequent tension within
the countries and within the union gradually led to open conflict between the Swedes and
the Danes in the 15th century. The union's final disintegration in the early 16th century
resulted in a long-lived rivalry between Norway and Denmark on one side and Sweden and
Finland on the other.

During and after World War I, in which Sweden remained neutral, the nation benefited from
the worldwide demand for Swedish steel, ball bearings, wood pulp, and matches. Postwar
achievement provided the basis for the social welfare policies characteristic of modern
Sweden. Sweden followed a policy of armed impartiality during World War II and currently
remains independent. Sweden became a member of the European Union in 1995.

Many of Sweden's science and technology activities are carried out by the Embassy of
Sweden's Science and Technology office. The main mission of the Science and Technology
Office is to help cooperation in research and development and other exchange of knowledge
between Sweden and Japan. This is done by telling decision-makers in Sweden about
developments in Japan, and by arranging study visits, workshops and other events. The
office preserves widespread contact networks in Sweden and Japan, mainly with key persons
and organizations involved in research and innovation in government, academia, and
industry.

Most of the activities of the Science and Technology Office are carried out within the
framework of "programs" operated in close partnership with, and financed by, Swedish
government agencies and other organizations with responsibilities in the particular area
covered by a program. Current programs cover the following areas: (1) Information and
Communication Technologies (ICT), (2) Life Sciences and Bio-industry, (3) Sustainable
Development, and (4) Overall Development of Japanese Science and Technology Policy and
Innovation System.

Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary form of government. According to
the Swedish Constitution, all public power derives from the people. Sweden's head of
state, the King, has only ceremonial functions. The top branch of the national government
is the Parliament, which has 349 members in one chamber. The biggest political party is
the Social Democratic Party.

The Parliament must approve all national taxes, annual budgets and legislation. The
decision-making powers of parliament are without limitation, beyond those based on
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