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Single Market Scoreboard

Country data: Sweden

Transposition (Sweden)

All comparisons are with the figures for 10 December 2020, the previous reporting date.

The last 2 years, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Member State authorities to address pressing priorities and affected their performance in transposing EU rules to some degree. In this context, the Commission has taken a number of extraordinary measures aimed at relieving the strain on Member States’ administrative resources. Nevertheless, it has also made clear that the Member States’ legal obligations to transpose EU directives in time remain unchanged.


Transposition deficit (percentage of all directives not transposed): 2% (last report: 0.7%) – a huge increase of 1.3 percentage points (the second highest increase among Member States). Sweden is one of 6 Member States whose deficit has more than doubled in the last year and consequently among those that missed the 1% target set by the European Council.  
EU average = 1.6%; proposed target (in the Single Market Act) = 0.5%

Apart from in 2016 when the Member States had to transpose an unusually high number of directives, Sweden’s performance on this criterion has been consistently good. Its result for this reporting period worsened dramatically, but this may be a temporary blip due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sweden did not transpose 13 of the 26 single market directives (50%) due to have been transposed in the 6 months before the cut-off date for calculating the deficit (1 June to 30 November 2021). This shows that Sweden should focus its attention on overcoming its current difficulties with the transposing directives by the given deadlines.

Overdue directives: 20 (last report: 7) including 5 on transport and 4 on financial services. One directive is more than 2 years overdue (Directive (EU) 2015/2366 on payment services in the internal market, amending Directives 2002/65/EC, 2009/110/EC and 2013/36/EU and Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010, and repealing Directive 2007/64/EC).

Average delay in transposing directives: 8.8 months (last report: 10.4 months) – a decrease of 1.6 months. Sweden is one of 9 Member States that reduced their delay in transposing directives in this reporting period.           
EU average = 8.6 months

Sweden has 1 long-overdue directive (due for almost 4 years) and 3 outstanding directives that have been due for between 1 and 2 years. Moreover, it tripled its number of outstanding directives, although most (13 out of 20) have been due for less than 6 months. The long delay in transposing some directives is partly offset by the short delay in transposing other more recent directives.

Conformity deficit (percentage of all directives transposed incorrectly): 1% (last report: 1.6%) – a marked decrease of 0.6 percentage point (the sharpest decrease among Member States), bringing Sweden’s deficit to below the EU average.           
EU average = 1.3% proposed target (in the Single Market Act) = 0.5%

The number of new infringement proceedings that the Commission has launched against Member States for incorrectly transposing single market directives has more than halved in 2 years. Nevertheless, the number of ongoing cases is still high. With 10 directives presumed to have been incorrectly transposed, Sweden is one of 9 Member States with the lowest deficit (1% or less).

Evolution of transposition deficit


Evolution of conformity deficit


Infringements (Sweden)

All comparisons are with the figures for 1 December 2020, the previous reporting date.


Pending single market cases: 18 (1 new case and 7 cases closed, including 3 on the environment; last report: 24 pending cases) – a marked decrease of 6 cases and well below the EU average.
EU average = 27 cases

With this year’s 25% decrease, Sweden has never had so few pending single market cases. It is one of 10 Member States with the lowest number of infringement cases (sixth position, up from ninth position in the previous reporting period).

The Commission launched 120 new cases against Member States in the reporting period (besides those for late transposition), and these were still pending on 1 December 2021. With only 1 case (the lowest number of all the Member States), Sweden is far below the EU average of 4 new cases launched in the reporting period. However, 7 Swedish cases have been resolved since December 2020, which is slightly below the EU average (8).

Problematic sectors: the environment (6 cases); services and professions (3). Together, these make up 50% of all pending cases.

Average case duration: 46.7 months for the 16 single market cases not yet sent to the European Court of Justice (last report: 37.2 months) – a marked increase of 9.5 months. The duration of cases is now longer than the EU average.               
EU average = 42.8 months

The average duration of Swedish cases has decreased by 5% in the last 3 years. Roughly two thirds of Swedish cases (10 out of 16) have been running for less than 3 years. Nevertheless, the considerable duration of some outstanding cases (in particular 2 cases on air transport and air pollution ongoing for 11 and 9 years respectively) significantly lengthens the average duration, despite the resolution of 6 cases whose average duration was around 3 years.

Time taken to comply with Court rulings: 170.4 months for the 2 single market cases at the Court-ruling stage of the procedure (last report: 65.4 months).           
EU average = 46.8 months

This is the second highest increase of all the 23 Member States that complied with the Court’s judgments in the last 5 years (+105 months). This is because 1 case with a short compliance duration of 13.2 months is now more than 5 years-old and therefore no longer part of the calculation. The 2 remaining cases took a particularly long time to comply: 1 case on air transport was solved more than 18 years after the Court ruling, with the entry into force of the EU-U.S. Air Transport Agreement (29 June 2020); 1 case on water protection and management needed almost 10 years to comply. Sweden is still the Member State with the second highest compliance time.

Evolution of infringement cases


Internal Market Information System (Sweden)

Performance – Sweden performed very well.

  • Results for four indicators were above or at the level of the EEA average.
  • Performance improved on four indicators.
  • The percentage of requests answered within the deadline increased significantly as did the speed in replying to the survey.
Requests accepted within one week (%)
Requests answered by the deadline agreed in IMI (%)
Satisfaction with timeliness of replies - as rated by counterparts (%)
Satisfaction with efforts made - as rated by counterparts (%)
Speed in answering requests (days)

Technical regulations information system (Sweden)


SOLVIT (Sweden)

  • Caseloadmedium
    Submitted cases: 45 (39 in 2020)
    Received cases: 76 (60 in 2020)
  • Cases not accepted:75 (48 in 2020)

  • Resolution rate: 68% (71% in 2020)
  • Handling time (as home centre)
    Reply within 7 days: 93% (85% in 2020) – good
    Cases prepared within 30 days: 88% (95% in 2020) – good
    Solutions accepted within 7 days: 78% (74% in 2020 ) – good
  • Cases not accepted within 30 days: 80% (52% in 2020) – good

  • Handling time (as lead centre)
    Cases accepted within 7 days:  86% (86% in 2020) good
    Cases closed in 10 weeks: 76% (68% in 2020) – good
  • Staffing level

Payment delays (Sweden)

In 2022, the average payment delay (the time exceeding the legal or contractually agreed payment terms) by Swedish public authorities was 14 days.

The average number of days needed for a business to have its invoices paid by other business (business-to-business payments) was 50.85 days.

Responsive administration and burden of regulation (Sweden)

Indicator 2021 EU average
Burden of government regulation (survey replies: 1 = worst, 7 = best) 4.2   3.6  
Digital public services to start and run a business (100% = best performing) 87.8% n/a  
Payment delays by public authorities 14 days 15.7 days
Time to resolve insolvency 2.0 years 2.0 years
Impact of regulation on long-term investment decisions (survey replies) 22.7% n/a  

Access to public procurement (Sweden)

Indicator 2021 EU average
Single bidder 10% 25%
No calls for bids 1% 6%
Publication rate (value advertised on Tenders Electronic Daily, in % of GDP) 5.9% 5.9%
Cooperative procurement (proportion of procedures with more than one buyer) 2% 5%
Award criteria (proportion of procedures awarded to cheapest bid) 82% 64%
Decision speed (days) 50   99  
SME contractors 66% 61%
SME bids 27% 73%
Procedures divided into lots 6% 31%
Missing calls for bids 1% 1%
Missing seller registration numbers 5% 29%
Missing buyer registration numbers 3% 11%

Note: A typical (mid-ranking) EU country is used for the EU average for all indicators except the publication rate. Due to delays in data availability, publication rate results are based on 2020 data.

Access to services and services markets (Sweden)

Indicator 2021 EU average
Restrictiveness indicator – architect 0.4   2.5  
Restrictiveness indicator – accountant 0.0   1.7  
Restrictiveness indicator – civil engineer 0.4   2.4  
Restrictiveness indicator – lawyer 2.6   3.4  
Restrictiveness indicator – real estate agent 3.2   1.3  
Restrictiveness indicator – patent agent 1.3   2.2  
Restrictiveness indicator – tourist guide 0.0   1.2  
Domestic priority letter prices, letter 20 g (2020) € 1.05 € 0.88
Intra-EU priority letter prices, letter 20 g (2020) € 2.10 € 1.53
Domestic transit times, day+1 performance, priority letters 20 g (2020) 98.1% 84.2%

Note: The EU restrictiveness indicator (EURI) measures the level of restrictiveness for the cross-border provision of services and the right of establishment for seven groups of professional services with a high share in EU firms’ intermediate consumption or cross-border mobility. The level of restrictiveness is measured on a scale from 0 (least restrictive) to 6 (most restrictive). 

Access to finance (Sweden)

Indicator 2021 EU average
Access to public financial support (% of SMEs indicating deterioration) 5.9%  11.3% 
Time to get paid by businesses (2022 survey) 50.9 days 52.5 days
Venture capital investments (% of GDP) 1.19% 0.48%
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