Rising fears about integration in Sweden
The Local · 16 Mar 2015, 10:54
Published: 16 Mar 2015 08:51 GMT+01:00
Updated: 16 Mar 2015 10:54 GMT+01:00
While a clear majority of Swedes support their country's open immigration policy, just 10 percent agree that integration efforts are working well, according to the survey by pollsters Ipsos commissioned by Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
"Most Swedes agree - across party lines, generations, in all parts of Sweden, different levels of education and so on. It seems that there is a fairly broad consensus,” noted Ahlin.
The most common complaint among respondents was that immigrants in Sweden can end up segregated or isolated from other Swedes, due to problems with housing, jobs and education.
Those polled also cited growing racism and xenophobia as a key issue as well as slow processing times for paperwork linked to migration.
But despite these concerns, the report’s authors argued that Swedes should still be proud of their open borders.
"We have long been an immigration country and it has been of major importance for society. The results confirm what other studies have shown. For example, Eurobarometer, which shows that Swedes are the most positive nation about immigration in the EU", said Ahlin.
Since the SD’s success at the polls, discussions about integration have become more commonplace in the Swedish media and political sphere, with signs that other parties starting to review their own policies.
Sweden has a global reputation for peace and tolerance and currently takes in more asylum seekers per capita than any other European country, with 81,000 arriving in 2014.
In January, a separate survey by Ipsos suggested that immigration and integration were the biggest concerns for Swedish voters, after education.