Liberals call for compulsory citizenship classes
TT/David Landes · 11 Mar 2008, 13:47
Published: 11 Mar 2008 13:47 GMT+01:00
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Earlier, the party has suggested that knowledge of the Swedish language should be a requirement for citizenship. Now it wants to expand the requirement to comprise a course on citizenship.
The suggestion comes from the Liberal Party’s discussions on integration issues and is now out for consultation within the party.
The course is to be extensive and tuition-free, and deal with the rights and responsibilities of Swedish society “as well as the basic values upon which the society is built.”
“It has to do with the founding principles of our society. People should know about their rights and responsibilities, equal treatment under the law, gender equity, our views on how children are raised, and so on,” Liberal Party member and Minister of Integration Nyamko Sabuni told Sveriges Radio.
Ignorance shouldn’t be an impediment to knowing one’s rights in Sweden, but it shouldn’t be an excuse for breaking the law, says the material.
Every adult who moves to Sweden will be invited to take the class. Those who wish to seek Swedish citizenship will be required to learn the material presented in the citizenship course.
According to the suggestion, citizenship shouldn’t be seen as a formality, but an important societal contract between the state and the individual.
To emphasize the weight of citizenship, the proposal suggests that county councils arrange special citizenship ceremonies.
Material now being sent to Liberal Party member also includes the controversial proposal to do away with exemptions from school lessons on cultural or religious grounds.