It's Almedalen Week in Sweden, the annual political event in and around Almedalen, a park in the medieval city of Visby on the Baltic island of Gotland. Almedalen Week is considered the most important forum in Swedish politics, this year attracting more than 30,000 participants. It always takes place during week 27, each day dedicated to one political party — an opportunity to focus their message and push new policies — and more than 3,500 seminars, speeches and other political activities and social events during the week.
The origin of Almedalen Week is traced to soon-to-be Prime Minister Olof Palme and the speeches he made during several summers near Almedalen, where his family vacationed in the late 1960s, but the first official Almedalen Week, with all the major party leaders, took place in 1982. It has grown larger ever since, with recent years including journalists, lobbyists, local and national politicians, employees from local, regional and national organizations and representatives of non-governmental organizations all coming to Visby to meet, discuss politics and socialize.