Sweden Moves To Legalize Dancing Without A Permit

Sweden’s center-right coalition government is making moves to allow dancing in nightclubs and other venues without first obtaining a permit, according to a Jan. 12 proposal cited by multiple outlets.

The proposal is part of an effort to abolish red tape regulations, reported the Associated Press (AP). The decade-old requirement, which has reportedly been called old-fashioned and moralistic by some Swedish media outlets, enforces dance permits for restaurants and bars.

Applying for a license costs a minimum of 700 Swedish kroner (roughly $67) per establishment, AP reported. As the regulation stands now, owners can lose their liquor and business licenses if police discover the establishment did not have the proper permit to allow dancing.

Under the new proposal, businesses would have to register with police, which can be done verbally and without a fee, according to AP.

“It is not reasonable for the state to regulate people’s dance,” Justice Minister for Sweden Gunnar Strömmer said in a statement, AP reported. “By removing the requirement for a dance permit, we also reduce bureaucracy and costs for entrepreneurs and others who organize dances.”

The Swedish government voted unanimously to abolish the permits in 2016, but the requirement is still in the books and enforced. Since the early 2000s, legislators from every political party in the country except the Social Democrats have favored doing away with the permits, the outlet reported, citing Swedish broadcaster SVT. (RELATED: Even Beer And Dancing Can’t Make Some Democrats Likeable)

The change is proposed to take effect July 1 but requires parliamentary approval first, according to AP.

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