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Canada a model for Swedish integration

Published tisdag 8 mars 2011 kl 16.09
"The Canadians have been much more successful with integration"
(5:18 min)

A new book on immigration and integration, suggests that Sweden has much to learn from another Arctic nation on the other side of the Atlantic.

Petter Hojem co-author of "The Canada Model", told Radio Sweden that while immigrants are seen as an economic resource in Canada, in Sweden they are often seen as in need of help.

That is partly due to the emphasis on refugee immigration in recent decades but also because the Swedish state has been the only real point of contact for newcomers.

“The Canadians have been much more successful with integration, partly because non-governmental organisations have played a big role,” he said.

Two years ago, Sweden's centre-right government opened the country up to economic immigration, ending the trade unions veto on companies recruiting foreign workers.

In the long run this change of emphasis - from asylum to labour market immigration- may move Sweden more in the direction of countries like Canada.

“If you change the mix – not that Sweden should take fewer refugees but if they open up more to labour migration as they’ve been doing, then the general view of the integration of immigrants will improve,” said Professor Pieter Bevelander, at the Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare.

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