Category: Sweden

RESPOND Sweden – what’s next?

By Jenni Wirman and Önver Cetrez, Uppsala University

MGN Sweden kick-off reflections

Outside the Humanities Theatre, venue for the kick-off [Photo: Jenni Wirman]

After much anticipation and excitement, the kick-off of the Migration Governance Network (MGN) in Sweden came and left. The distinguished speakers Lisa Pelling, Kristof Tamas and Tove Hovemyr delivered interesting updates and analyses of the ongoing parliamentary debates due to the elections earlier in September that sparked an engaged debate in the audience.

The aftertaste of the event was even better, generating a positive energy and response among the participating stakeholders for the upcoming RESPOND events. Stakeholders sent representatives from Kompis Sverige, Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, Read for Integration,Red Cross University College, Red Cross Youth Uppsala, the Swedish Church in Uppsala, Swedish for Immigrants(SFI), Swedish Public Employment Service Uppsala-Knivsta, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala municipality, Uppsala Students’ union, Uppsala University and Varken hora eller kuvad.The kick-off was moderated by the researchers and administrators of RESPOND: Jenni Wirman, Karin Borevi, Soner Barthoma, and Önver Cetrez.

Finally, the work can begin, in which this newly established migration governance network will play a vital role. With the mutual interest to ground the project in up-to-date policy recommendations, the dynamic assemblage from various fields of expertise that is the network can provide just those. With those words, many thanks to all the speakers and participants this far!

Kristof Tamas from The Migration Studies Delegation [Photo: Jenni Wirman]

What’s next?

As a first step, a roundtable with stakeholders to discuss topics related to the ongoing research will be held in December 2018. This time, issues related to border, protection, reception, and integration will be deliberated and fed into the RESPOND working paper series. An additional ambition of the roundtable sessions is to gather stakeholders within the field of migration to enhance existing and enforce new networks. We aim to gather stakeholders twice a semester for up to date topics. We also welcome all stakeholders to contribute with a short text about their projects in our RESPOND-blog.

Introducing RESPOND’s Working Paper Series – Global Migration: Consequences and Responses

This Working Paper Series features the work of RESPOND researchers and is open to all scholars working on related topics.

The first set of papers analyze the socio-economic, political, legal and institutional context of migration governance in Austria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iraq, Italy, Lebanon, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, the UK and the European Union as a whole. The papers are an incredible resource for scholars applying a comparative legal framework or for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of migration policy in Europe.

Click this link to access the papers.

To submit a paper for consideration for inclusion in the series, send an e-mail to: or

In Which Direction Will Swedish Politics Migrate?

By Jenni Wirman (Uppsala University).

Swedish migration politics are heading towards an uncertain direction as the dust has settled following the Swedish general election 2018 to the Riksdag (the Swedish parliament), municipalities and county councils that took place Sunday 9 September. As the preliminary results could barely have been more even, 40.7% to 40.2%, Sweden is waking up to according to some, an impossible situation, and according to others, exciting times.

The final results are still pending, but the preliminary numbers already present a more fragmented political landscape than has been witnessed before. The block politics of Sweden between the traditional partners no longer seems to generate an obvious winning side, and much less a majority government. Following the trend among its European neighbours, the Swedish tradition of bloc politics seems to have reached an end.

Swedish Parliament election results. Reuters Graphic.

The centre left Red-Green coalition consisting of the Left Party, Social Democrats and Green Party received 144 seats in parliament, only one seat over the 143 seats of the centre right Alliance bloc, which consists of the Centre party, Moderates, Liberals and Christian Democrats. Rising from 12.9% to 17.5% in the election, the far-right Sweden Democrats take another 13 seats. The strong the results did not quite reach up to the party’s own expectations to become the second biggest, if not the biggest party in Sweden.

Long negotiations await the parties in the parliament in order to set up a majority or a minority government. Migration is likely to become one of the core issues decisive for the final government installation, as the issue marks the divide between the red-green coalition as well as the Centre Party, and Sweden Democrats together with the rest of the Alliance.

In 2019, the law on temporary restriction to obtaining a residence permit in Sweden will come to an end after three years in effect, since 19 July 2016. How will family immigration be managed from then on? Will there be a retreat to the old acquis or will the current policy withstand? We can only wait and see.

On Friday 21 September, the kick-off for the Migration Governance Network in Sweden takes place in Uppsala. The event is taking place only two weeks after the elections, and it will by then still be a unclear ifwe can look forward to a coalition government or even a re-election. Therefore, together with our renowned speakers, we aim to comment, analyse and set a prognosis on the matter of migration policies and migration governance in Sweden. What consequences will the election campaign and the final results have for migration policies during the forthcoming term and in the long run? What are the biggest political challenges facing Sweden in terms of migration – in a shorter and longer term perspective?

Kicking-off RESPOND and the Migration Governance Network in Sweden

The Carolina Park. Photo: Uppsala Municipality.

Just next to the old Carolina Park with a view to the university library, Uppsala Castle, and the Botanical Garden lies the Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre, where RESPOND is coordinated. Further into the university, shielded from the public eye, is the Humanities Theatre, Uppsala University’s latest contribution to the campus. It is in this inspiring environment that the launching of RESPOND and the initiating of Sweden’s Migration Government Network will take place this fall. Continue reading