Sweden tightens asylum rules

Swedish government announces tougher asylum rules to deal with increasing refugee flow to Sweden

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven (R) and Deputy Prime Minister Asa Romson (L) introduce stricter rules for refugees seeking asylum in Sweden, November 24, 2015

Swedish government announced on Tuesday that it will introduce tougher asylum regulations to lower the number of people seeking refuge in the Nordic country and will also ask for a more fair refugee distribution regulations from the EU.

“The current situation is unsustainable so we must drastically reduce the number of asylum seekers coming to Sweden,” Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said in a news conference.

Under the measures announced on Tuesday, Sweden will adhere “to the European Union's minimal level of required intake of refugees.”

Sweden will severely restrict the right to family reunification, put limits on three year residence permits and introduce ID checks on all public transport into the country.

Sweden introduced large-scale border checks in November, to slow down the flow of asylum seekers, but they were later judged as ineffective by the government.

190,000 asylum seekers are expected to reach the Swedish borders this year and 170,000 next year.

Over the last two months, around 80,000 refugees have arrived in the Scandinavian country, which has presented itself as a humanitarian superpower and the Swedish Migration Agency said earlier in November that they can’t guarantee accommodation for all.

"Now, to put it bluntly, more people will have to seek asylum and get protection in other European countries," Lofven said.

"It is clear that migration politics in the EU need to be completely reviewed," Lofven said.

He said that "Sweden had... taken greater responsibility than any other western country. We are a small country making a huge effort and the Swedish people are showing great solidarity at this difficult time."

The country with 9.5 million population takes more refugees per capita than the rest of the EU countries.

TRTWorld and agencies