The Award’s Future in Parliament Under Threat
21 May: The Award’s Future in Parliament Under Threat (available in Swedish)
Since 1985, the Right Livelihood Award has been presented in the Swedish Parliament, on the invitation from the Association for the Right Livelihood Award in the Parliament (SÄRLA), an association of parliamentarians from all seven established political parties of the Swedish Parliament. SÄRLA has recently been informed that the Speaker of Parliament, Urban Ahlin of the Social Democratic party has decided that the award ceremony can no longer be held in the Swedish Parliament, known as Riksdagen.
The official explanation is that the Parliament premises are needed “for parliamentary work instead”. However, the room in which the award ceremony is normally held is empty almost 90 percent of the time, according to the Parliament administration records. Besides, the decision by the Speaker preempts the conclusions of the ongoing review on the allocation of parliamentary facilities, which is expected to be completed by 31 August 2016.
The Parliament Board, which determines the rules for room allocation, has its last meeting before the summer break on 8 June 2016. The Right Livelihood Award Foundation together with SÄRLA call on members of the Parliament Board to decide, there and then, in favour of upholding the 30-year tradition of presenting the Right Livelihood Award in the Swedish Parliament.