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Jonas Nygren was appointed by the government to help set up the Delegation Against Segregation, which will be officially launched in January 2018. Credit: Adam Wrafter / TT

New agency tasked with tackling segregation

Jonas Nygren: The challenge is finding solutions that can work in the whole of Sweden
2:06 min

The government is a step closer to launching a new agency dedicated to combatting segregation, an issue that is also likely to dominate the debate in the run-up to the 2018 general election.

Jonas Nygren, who is in charge of setting up the agency – called the Delegation Against Segregation, has just completed a tour of Sweden's 30 biggest municipalities and says there is great disparity around the country when it comes to the different challenges that towns and communities face.

“Some communities have problems with high unemployment rates and in other cities the biggest challenge is urban planning. And that's a big challenge for the government: how to find solutions that can work in the whole of Sweden - from Malmö in the south to Luleå in the north,” Nygren told Radio Sweden.

Segregation is often described as one of the biggest challenges that Sweden faces today and the issue is likely to dominate the debate in the run-up to the next general election.

The total budget for the Delegation is SEK 225 million. Critics say creating a new government agency simply means more bureaucracy and more costs.

However, Nygren insists that the Delegation will be uniquely positioned to address the issue of segregation because it will coordinate efforts and work with a long-term perspective, rather than with short-term and isolated projects.

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