Internal criticism over Social Democrats' new stance on asylum rules

2:19 min

Several branches of the Social Democrats are criticising their party leadership's decision to stick to more restrictive asylum policies.

In 2016, after Sweden had received more asylum seekers per capita than any other EU country, the government announced that for the next three years, temporary - not permanent - residence permits would be the rule, and that the policy on family reunification would be stricter.

Those temporary measures were supposed to come to an end next year, but on Friday, the leader of the Social Democrats, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and the Social Democratic Migration Minister Helene Fritzon announced that the party wants to prolong these stricter rules to be in line with the rest of the EU.

This is what is now causing rumblings within the Social Democratic Party. Last week, a Social Democrat MP said she stands down her place in Parliament in protest of her party's tougher immigration line and over the weekend, the debate has been heated on social media.

Now Swedish Radio News reports that all five subgroups in the party have come out in favour of returning to permanent residence permits as a rule and making it easier for families to be reunited in Sweden.

In addition to the party's women's group and the youth wing, three other groups are also critical of prolonging the more restrictive policies, and those are the Social Democrats for Faith and Solidarity, and the groups organising social democratic students and LGBTQ-members.