Sweden: Intense debate on how to handle growing immigration
According to the forecast from the Migration Board, nearly 400,000 persons are expected to apply for asylum in Sweden in the next five years. The political debate about meeting this challenge is becoming more intense as one party after another presents their policy proposals on how to deal with this. So far, the three smaller center-right parties - the Christian Democrats, the Center Party, and the Liberal Party - have presented a number of policy proposals.
The Christian Democrats have suggested lowering the benefits for migrant newcomers, and to grant temporary rather than permanent residence permits.
The Liberal Party has emphasized the need for a stronger 'work-first' policy in order to improve integration. The measures they suggest to achieve this are economic requirements for family reunification and, like the Christian Democrats, to make a shift to temporary residence permits.
While both the Christian Democrats and the Liberal Party focus on restrictions for migrants, the suggestions from the Center Party are directed at society at large. They want to introduce new forms of labour market programs for migrants and reform the employment protection regulation in order to facilitate easier access for newcomers in the labour market.
The two major parties, the Moderate Party and the Social Democrats, are expected to present their new policy proposals for migration and integration in the near future.