Sweden is seeking to revoke the necessary permits for dancing

Sweden’s centre-right coalition government wants to cut red tape when it comes to dancing by scrapping a decade-old requirement for restaurants, nightclubs and other venues to obtain permits before allowing patrons to rock and roll.

The proposal made Thursday means venues no longer need a license to stage dances. Instead, as a rule, they will just have to register with the police, which can be done verbally and costs nothing.

Applying for a permit requires a fee of at least $67 per facility. As it stands now, the owners could lose their liquor and business licenses if police officers came and discovered the venue did not have permission to allow patrons to dance.

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People sit at a bar in Stockholm, Sweden, on March 25, 2020. If the Swedish government revokes dance licenses, establishments will no longer need approval to stage dance events.
(AP Photo/David Keyton, File)

“It is not reasonable for the state to regulate people’s dancing,” Justice Minister Gunnar Stromer said in a government statement. “By eliminating the requirement to obtain a dance permit, we also reduce bureaucracy and costs for entrepreneurs and others who organize the dances.”

Swedish media welcomed the move to revoke dance permits, which they described as outdated and immoral.

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The government has proposed that the change take effect on July 1, though it would require Parliament’s approval.

In 2016, the Swedish Parliament voted unanimously to revoke the permits but the requirement is still in the law and is being enforced. Swedish broadcaster SVT said that over the past 20 years, lawmakers from every party except the Social Democrats have favored revoking the permits.

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