A migration policy in order
Migration flows to Sweden are on the increase and this demands a lot of our asylum system, our authorities and our ability to ensure a reliable process.
People coming to Sweden to seek asylum deserve a speedy process regardless of outcome – this is very important. Those who are granted residence permit should as soon as possible be received by a municipality, establish themselves in the community and become part of society. It is equally important that those who are denied asylum do return to their respective native country.
Our authorities evaluate the applicant’s need for protection and if he or she does not meet the formal requirements the applicant must return to the native country. This is instrumental for maintaining a sustainable system in the long run. Clear and quick decisions reduce the risk of ill-health – even if the outcome is not the desired one.
Sweden – a clear voice in the EU
Sweden shall be a sanctuary for people who flee from war, oppression and persecution. We defend the right of asylum. Thus, the EU cooperation plays an important role when working with asylum issues – because if we work together we can achieve so much more.
While Sweden receives some 1,900 quota refugees annually, many EU member states have not joined the UNHCR quota refugee system. On behalf of Sweden, I strive for getting more EU member states to receive quota refugees. That is how we share responsibility and enable more people to find a refuge in Europe.
It is also important that all member states introduce and adhere to our common rules. We have freedom of movement within the EU, we have common outer borders and we have common rules on border crossing. Therefore, all member states must abide by the same rules. It must not matter where in the EU a refugee applies for asylum. Today, we see that a few member states tend to attract a majority of the asylum seekers. But asylum seekers must be treated equally – regardless where in the EU they apply for asylum.
Labor immigration reform
In 2008 the government and the Green Party reformed the regulatory framework regarding labor immigration. We opened the door for people to come here to work and to realize their dreams. This was important for Sweden’s future as we see skills shortages in many areas.
Employers determine skills requirements
It is the employer – not the government or the labor unions – that define and evaluate skills requirements, job qualifications and employee selection. We know that one out of four employers experience various skills shortages. Consequently, it is important that we don’t shut the door to people who want to come here to work and to contribute to our common welfare.
There must be clear rules that protect the employees from being exploited by criminal employers and that is why the government and the Green Party have introduced new rules. Employers that hire foreign labor will now be subject to inspections that examine working conditions and adherence to labor rules.
Fast handling and fast administration are vital when competing for global talent. If the process is too slow the applicant may choose another position in another country. The government has improved these conditions by the commissioning the Swedish Migration Board to introduce an electronic administration tool that will speed up the asylum application process.
Higher municipal involvement
Due to the global situation a lot of people come to Sweden to seek asylum and many of them – especially people from Syria – are granted residence permit. The number of asylum seekers has increased and although the Swedish Migration Board offers housing, vacancies are now scarce. New temporary solutions must be arranged and more municipalities must open up and receive those who seek and those who have been granted asylum. Basically, it is a question of joint responsibility – if all of Sweden’s 290 municipalities would share equal responsibility we are talking about some 36 people per municipality.
In order to increase motivation the government has appointed two coordinators. Their mission is to establish a dialog with the municipalities, listen to their experiences and thus improve the reception of migrants to Sweden.