The Swedish government in October 2015 decided to make an U-turn in terms of immigration policy, when it turned out that the European Union was not able to decide on and realize mechanisms of shared responsibility, and the stream of refugees crossing Europe on its way to Northern Europe showed no signs of decrease.
For many years, Sweden has been the European Union’s top country receiver of refugee migrants (per capita). In 2015 alone, close to 163,000 asylum seekers were registered, doubling the figure from the years before. This mostly unexpected influx of refugees –forecasts in the summer of 2016 envisioned 70,000 to 80,000 people– occurred in the national context of a severe housing shortage, making accommodation a first crucial issue to be handled by the State and municipalities. Border controls and a very restricted policy on new refugee entrances were introduced towards the end of the year, bringing the number of new asylum seekers per week down from more than 10,000 in October to less than a thousand in 2016.
In his talk, Roger Andersson will make an attempt to sum up the Swedish experience politically and socially. Since there is a lack good data for the most recent developments, a part of his talk will be based on studies of former cohorts of refugee immigrants in Sweden.