Long considered a welcoming land, Sweden did an about-face on its migration policy in September 2022 when a centre-right government came to power. The country has gradually closed its doors to immigrants.
The door closes. Sweden, long regarded as one of Europe’s most welcoming countries since World War II, has certainly embarked on a radical transformation.
The kingdom, described as a “humanitarian superpower”, has overhauled its migration policy after a centre-right government (conservatives, liberals and Christian Democrats) backed by Sweden’s nationalist party, the Democrats (SD), came to power. The latter has made a stunning breakthrough towards the end of the September 2022 legislative elections and continues to successfully surf anti-immigration sentiment.
Thus, immigration minister Maria Malmar indicated that the authorities want to “reduce the quota of refugees from 6,400 to 900 per year” in 2022, as the integration of certain immigrants who have come to Sweden has been failing for years. Stenergaard was appointed to the post last October.
“I firmly believe that for immigration to work, it must be orderly. Our asylum policy must now reflect what is done in the rest of the EU. We cannot continue to stand out from other comparable countries by having generous conditions,” he said in an interview. Picaro.
“We want to reduce asylum-related immigration, starting by reducing the quota of refugees to 900 per year. But we still get one immigrant per EU country,” he said.
In addition to reducing the quota of refugees received, the Swedish government plans to “detain asylum seekers in transit centers in Sweden.
Added to this is a “decision” on permanent residency for refugees. “If conditions in their country have changed they may have to return home and they don’t need protection,” Maria Malmer Stenergaard said.
In relation to illegal immigrants and people whose asylum applications have been rejected, the government wants to “track” them in order to send them back to their hometowns. For the administration, these measures should discourage migrants from seeking asylum in Sweden.
A less compliant population
But this burning material, which brings the four parties of the governing coalition and the SD party into full agreement, is meeting its success with Swedes frustrated by the former social-democrat government’s less restrictive immigration policy.
Since the 2015 migration crisis, Sweden has welcomed nearly 163,000 refugees, a record in Europe, with 42% of Swedes not welcoming asylum seekers, according to Sifo and Ipsos polls.
Five years later, in 2020, they were 58% to claim fewer refugees, despite a significant drop in arrivals.
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