Weathering Crisis, Forging Ahead: Swedish Asylum and Integration Policy

The Swedish asylum system—long one of the most efficient and generous in the world—faced an unprecedented challenge in the fall of 2015. As the number of refugees and migrants arriving in Sweden surged, processing times for asylum applications grew and emergency housing reached capacity. Drawing on interviews with Swedish policymakers and stakeholders, the author maps the ongoing capacity challenges, responses, and innovations in how Sweden supports the success of asylum seekers and refugees. In many ways, flexibility has proven key. From rapidly expanding temporary housing and health services, to creating fast-track employment programs and opportunities for educators to pool resources, Swedish reception and integration systems are exploring new approaches to service provision in the face of heightened need.

Susan Fratzke (2017). Policy Brief, Migration Policy Institute. Available here.