The Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer will lead a delegation of MSPs visiting the Swedish Parliament this week as part of an ongoing commitment to parliamentary reform and learning from other legislatures.
The Swedish Parliament, the Riksdag, was one of the legislatures whose practices and procedures helped to shape those of the Scottish Parliament when it was established. Twenty years on from the creation of the Scottish Parliament, the Presiding Officer will travel to Stockholm to hold discussions on developments in both parliaments over the last 20 years.
During the visit on October 21 and 22, the delegation will meet with Dr Andreas Norlén, Speaker of the Riksdag, as well as other Swedish MPs. The delegation will also get an overview of the Riksdag’s approach to scrutiny, evaluation and research from senior Swedish officials, as well as discussing business planning and management of Chamber proceedings.
The Presiding Officer will be accompanied on the two-day visit by Ruth Maguire MSP, Convener of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee and Mark Ruskell MSP, Deputy Convener of the SPPA Committee.
Ruth Maguire MSP will also use the visit to find out more about work in Sweden to tackle female genital mutilation (FGM), as part of her Committee’s scrutiny of the Female Genital Mutilation (Protection and Guidance) (Scotland) Bill.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Ken Macintosh MSP, said:
“When the Scottish Parliament was being established, we looked across Europe and the Commonwealth to other Parliaments for their expertise and experience as we took our first steps as a fledgling Parliament.
“But we cannot stand still, and part of my role is to ensure that we continue to look at ways of improving our procedures, whether that is through new technology or new processes, so that we can engage better with the people of Scotland and deliver better scrutiny.”
More information on the Presiding Officer’s international relations work can be found online here.
The purpose of the Cross-Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on Nordic Countries is to promote political, cultural, educational and environmental links between Scotland and Nordic Countries; and to foster ties between Scottish and Nordic politicians.