Iacobaeus (2021) Conducting Municipal Council Meetings with Social Distance

This paper studies how COVID-19 related social distancing affects Swedish local council meetings and the situation for elected representatives. It is based on interviews with local political advisors, a professional group employed to assist elected representatives in their political work. Social distancing has affected the political agenda and the ways of organising local politics; digital meetings are limiting for the political debate, less engaging and affects who is heard and who is not. It is challenging to arrange digital meetings in a way that are in line with the law. However, digitalisation of local politics has led to technical and legal knowledge that can be used to adapt more swiftly in future crises.

This policy brief is a result of the ICLD Local Democracy Academy 2020