Sweden to receive up to 140,000 refugees in 2016
Sweden could receive up to 140,000 asylum seekers in 2016, including 27,000 unaccompanied minors, according to a forecast by the Swedish Migration Agency published on Thursday.
These figures correspond to the highest of three estimates, the lowest being 70,000 refugees, 12,000 out of which would be unaccompanied minors.
The variation depends on the efficacy of control measures in Turkey and the European Union in general. The Migration Agency says that it is hard to assess the future security situation in other parts of the world, which makes the forecasts uncertain.
Migration Agency Director General Anders Danielsson told Swedish Radio News that they take into account many other factors, which also contribute to the uncertainty.
"We follow conflicts around the world. We follow migration flows. We follow the accessibility depending on the season, politics both in the EU as a whole and in its member states... What I'm trying to say is that the only thing we know for sure is that the pressure on Europe will most likely be as high in 2016 as in 2015 or it could even be higher. Everything points in that direction," Danielsson says.
Last year, the Migration Agency predicted in April and July that Sweden would receive a total of 74,000 asylum seekers that year. But in the fall, the figure more than doubled, when they adjusted the figure to 190,000. The actual number of refugees who came to Sweden last year was 163,000, said the Migration Agency last month. That is a record-high figure and almost double as many as in 1992 during the Balkan Wars.
The agency has lowered its forecast for this year by one-third since the previous forecast, according to Migration Minister Morgan Johansson, who tells Swedish Radio News that this is a sign that the tighter rules implemented by the government last year are proving fruitful.
"The measures we took at the end of last year with the ID checks and changed regulation were the right measures. And I think it was very important that we did so," Johansson says.