Government announces 10-year plan to combat segregation

1:49 min

The government announced a ten-year funding initiative to combat segregation today, pledging a switch from short- to long-term planning.

The proposals, described by the government as "the first ever of their kind", were presented by Ibrahim Baylan, Minister for Policy Co-ordination and Energy, at a press conference on Tuesday.

The programme would run between 2018 and 2028, with the government pledging it would reach an annual value of up to SEK 2.2 billion for initiatives to address segregation by, for example, allocating resources to law enforcement and education.

Currently, only SEK 425 million is available for local authorities in 2018. All subsequent funding in the programme is purely projected. Of the SEK 425 million available this year, Stockholm may apply for SEK 50 million, Gothenburg SEK 32 million, and Malmö SEK 22 million.

"We're changing the way the government works with these issues, [...] we're switching from short-term to long-term, we're switching from taking action at far too late a stage to taking steps early, and we're switching from a situation where everybody does their own thing to working together," Baylan said.

"Our vision of Sweden is a country where people, regardless of where they live, shall be able to [...] realise their dreams of a better life," he added. 

The opposition Moderate Party attacked the proposals. Finance spokesperson Elisabeth Svantesson told news agency TT that a large number of initiatives were not the way to reduce segregation.

"We've had enough of failed integration projects in these areas," she said, before acknowledging that more resources were needed for policing and schools.

With the administration trailing in the polls ahead of September's general election, there is doubt over whether the plans will be introduced, although the opposition has not said outright it will remove this support to local councils if it wins.

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