Every summer at week 27 Swedish political parties and citizens come together in the city of Visby on the Swedish island Gotland for Almedalen Week. With speeches, seminars and other political activities, Almedalen is considered to be the most important forum in Swedish politics, similarly to the Folkemøde in Denmark.
Swedish ALDE Party members Liberalerna and Centerpartiet actively participated in the event.
On Monday 3 July Liberalerna leader Jan Björklund addressed the attendees of Almedalen in a speech reflecting on the values of social liberalism and particularly focusing on how to prevent the gap between those born in Sweden and those who have moved there later on.
In his speech, Björklund was clear: "The big task for Sweden in the upcoming future is to combat inequality. No task is great. The important thing is not where you come from but where you are going. Your background should not determine your future and Sweden will hold together." You can his full speech on Liberalerna's website. On the same day, Liberalerna also presented a report on how liberals can increase freedom and bridge the gap in Swedish society.
"Skolan, bostäder, tryggheten, jobben måste finnas där för alla, inte bara för de som bott här länge." pic.twitter.com/Gg8JdJSAzm— Liberalerna (@liberalerna) July 3, 2017
On Tuesday 4 July was the turn of Centerpartiet leader Annie Lööf to offer a speech at Almedalen. She addressed the importance of reforming the labour market, running an aggressive climate policy that produces results and combating xenophobia and radical violent Islamism.
The focus of her address was on Sweden's big challenge: the cleavage between those who have jobs and those who don't. "We should improve the possibilities of those who have the wrong name, the wrong age, wrong training or no training at at all, those who want to do their duty; but instead they live in isolation. For them, life is a constant struggle against unemployment and insecurity," said Annie Lööf. You can read an overview of her speech on Centerpartiet's website. Centerpartiet brought this topic again in the spotlight in their economic seminar during Almedalen.