Analysts from the labour ministry say it is still too early to assess the success of the integration policies implemented at the start of the refugee crisis in 2013.
“There is a lot of talk about the Swedish integration policies, about refugees as a resource for Sweden to train and use in the labour market, but the issue is really not that simple,” says Tino Sanandaji, a researcher at the Stockholm School of Economics. “Studies show how [each] refugee will cost the system more than 70,000 krona [$8,400] a year.
“This does not mean we don’t have to take refugees in, just not as we have been doing up to now if we want to have a real integration in the long-run.”
A poll in early November 2015 found that 41 percent of Swedes thought the country was taking in too many refugees, up from 29 percent in September 2015. Running parallel to this is the rise of the right-wing Sweden Democrats.
The Swedish government is currently discussing a new law that, if implemented in its full form, would drastically reduce the chances of refugees settling, let alone integrating, into Swedish society.
Michael Williams, the vice president of FARR, the Swedish Network of Refugee Support Groups, explains that according to the new law “refugees will obtain a permit for a maximum of three years and the current family reunion rights will also be drastically reduced, a violation of one of the basic rights of the Geneva refugee convention”.