Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees in Gothenburg

image of Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees in Gothenburg

Today, 34% of the population of Gothenburg, Sweden, was born outside of the country or has at least one parent born abroad. The city is growing at a fast pace: 4 400 new residents registered in 2016. Newcomers account for the bulk of demographic growth, of which 12 858 refugees settled in the city between 2010 and 2016. However, migration is not a new phenomenon in Gothenburg, with nearly 41.7% of migrant residents having arrived more than 10 years ago. The Gothenburg municipality has a significant track record in managing the impact of migration on local demand for work, housing, goods and services, cultural and linguistic diversity, and other parts of daily life. This report presents the way Gothenburg municipality and its state and non-state partners are addressing migrant integration issues and opportunities. It compiles data and qualitative evidence on how local integration efforts are designed and implemented within a multi-level governance framework.



Block 1. Multi-level governance: Institutional and financial settings

In Sweden, migration and integration policies are designed at the national level; however, there is no “integration code” or guidelines that all levels of government have to follow in their integration process. Since the dismantling in 2007of the former Integration Agency – created in 1998 – each ministry and government agency is responsible for integration in its particular area and integration has to be applied to all areas of policy (Bakbasel, 2012). The Ministry of Justice (responsible for migration, asylum, residence permits) and the Ministry of Employment (responsible for employment, establishment, integration through work) are the two state departments responsible for most of the migration and integration policies. The Equality Ombudsman (DO) is in charge of overseeing discrimination laws. Sweden has intensified efforts to combat discrimination of foreign-born individuals since the 1990s. A comprehensive law against all kinds of discrimination was introduced in 2009. It is impossible, according to some studies, to determine whether these measures have begun to reduce discrimination (DELMI, 2017).


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