Sweden Country Profile

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A Snapshot of Corruption in Sweden Stockholm

The Sweden country profile aims to provide companies and organisations with an analysis of how corruption affects the country's business and political environments. Throughout the profile, readers can find detailed descriptions of the country's efforts in curbing corruption, corruption-related legislation, risk-prone sectors and more. This profile's General Information chapter provides an overview of anti-corruption activities and corruption risks in Sweden's political, business and regulatory environments. Although public surveys show that Swedes consider the level of corruption to be increasing, the actual occurrence of corruption is minimal, with petty corruption being virtually non-existent. Corruption constitutes a marginal constraint to trade, and companies are unlikely to encounter bribery. Sweden’s institutional framework is regarded as being efficient in curbing corruption, and public agencies are characterised by a large degree of accountability, integrity and transparency. Recent anti-corruption activities in Sweden include:

  • Changes to the Penal Code entered into force in July 2012 aim at modernising anti-corruption legislation and clarifying definitions of legal liability. Read more about legislation under Public Anti-Corruption Initiatives.
  • In early 2012, a specialised National Corruption Group was established under the National Police to centralise and increase the efficiency of bribery investigations.

However, despite a positive performance, several cases reveal that Sweden is not immune to corruption, including:

  • A number of municipal cases involving bribery, collusion and irregular procurement procedures between private and public actors. Municipal administrations must strengthen auditing procedures and mechanisms for preventing conflicts of interest.
  • The OECD has criticised Sweden for not enforcing foreign bribery laws effectively.
  • Civil society groups have called for expanding whistleblower protections to include the private sector and making confidential counselling available to victims and witnesses of corruption.

Detailed descriptions of the level of corruption in a number of sectors are outlined in the profile's Corruption Levels. For a more detailed analysis of the Swedish government, media and civil society anti-corruption activities, visit the Public Anti-Corruption Initiatives and Private Anti-Corruption Initiatives chapters.


Publication date: November 2013

Data verified by GAN Integrity Solutions

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