🇪🇺 Expanding Schengen?
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|November 17, 2022||Sign Up|
Good morning! Today is Thursday, November 17th. In today’s Riedia Sweden Morning Digest, we are covering:
Calls for the Swedish Migration Agency to assess refugees’ skills, China’s potential influence on Swedish democracy, and the EU’s plan to expand the Schengen area.
– Julia Powanda, Viviana Levet, Xuecong Liu
Migrationsverket has not been taking skills or labor needs into account when allocating refugees to different locations in Sweden.
Apparently, companies have asked the Swedish Migration Agency to spot refugees with certain skills to be assigned in certain parts of the country for them to get a job right away. However, the agency has done nothing in this sense as it is “not their mission.”
While it is the task of the Employment Service to help new arrivals in the labor market – there’s little influence on where in the country refugees could be assigned.
Not their responsibility?
According to Migrationsverket, it is not part of the Migration Agency's role to register education and skills, nor is it their responsibility to match the need for labor in different municipalities. Their current duty is solely to ensure that the number of refugees is evenly distributed in the country's municipalities.
The government now states that the issue should be addressed as quickly as possible, so that “Sweden becomes a winner and also people who come here start working right away," says Minister of Integration Johan Pehrson.
According to a new report, Chinese ownership risks affecting democracy in Swedish municipalities. This is because, in recent decades, Chinese companies have bought into more and more Swedish companies, for instance, Volvo Cars and AB Volvo.
Therefore, researchers warn that China's interests could affect local democracy through refugee espionage and censorship against Chinese citizens or others with connections to China.
This may be particularly true in western Sweden, where companies with Chinese ownership have a large number of employees.
Researchers are proposing a survey of self-censorship in China-related issues, for example, in local politicians and journalists; as well as in the technical field, such as the case of mobile apps such as Tiktok.
In 2019, a total of over 1,000 companies in Sweden reported that they were owned and/or operated by Chinese citizens. For example, Chinese companies are involved in the construction of the Stockholm subway and the security at Arlanda Airport.
Swedish Armed Forces have been sued by Discrimination Ombudsman (DO) Lars Arrhenius for not letting a man with autism enlist into military service.
Erik Fenn, 25, was diagnosed with autism as a child. He was dismissed to do the try-outs for military service. And now he is being supported by the DO, who has also previously criticized the regulations and stated that this action violates the Discrimination Act.
In their petition, the Swedish Armed Forces have been ordered to pay SEK 45,000 in compensation for discrimination.
Other disabilities allowed
Previously, people with neuropsychiatric disabilities were automatically excluded from the chance to do military service. But this spring, the Swedish Armed Forces changed their restrictions for those with mild ADHD, who do not need medication and meet other requirements.
However, the Swedish Armed Forces did not change the rules regarding autism.
EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson wants the Schengen area expanded , and says, “it is high time” that Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania be welcomed into Schengen.
In Johansson’s view, allowing countries to enter the Schengen area should make Europe safer, richer, and more attractive; but Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania have been forced to wait to become part of the Schengen area, in part because of opposition in western and northern parts of the EU.
EU member states will likely vote on Schengen membership for the three countries next month, but it will likely be split into two votes - one for Croatia alone and the other for Bulgaria and Romania.
But there is still hesitation in allowing the countries to join. In the Netherlands, Parliament has already adopted an appeal to say no to Bulgaria and Romania. Sweden is also hesitant to allow the countries to join. The Sweden Democrats’ position is against it, and the Social Democrats want to first assess what consequences there might be for Sweden if Schengen is expanded to the trio.
What else is happening in Sweden?
🕺 ABBA has made a huge comeback. The Swedish group has been nominated for four Grammys. The Grammy Gala will be held in Los Angeles in the US on February 6, next year.
🪖 Sweden is preparing to send more air defense to Ukraine. Ukrainian officials have specifically asked for air defense.
🌱 Sweden is being criticized for being a drag at the COP27 climate summit. Sweden is one of the countries opposing financing a new climate fund specifically directed to help poorer countries deal with the financial burden of climate change.
What else is happening in the world?
🇵🇱 New information on the missile that killed two people in Poland. G20 and NATO officials do not suspect it was a deliberate attack.
🇺🇲 Republicans win the US House of Representatives. Their victory means the US government will be divided, with Democrats controlling the Senate.
🇮🇩 UK's new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and China's President Xi Jinping were set to have a meeting on Wednesday at the ongoing G20 summit in Bali. It would have been the first meeting between the two leaders, but Downing Street announced that the meeting was canceled due to "schedule problems".
🚀 The world’s most powerful rocket is now on its way to the moon . After two previous failed attempts, NASA was able to successfully launch Artemis 1. The rocket will play an important role in NASA’s goal of establishing a colony on the moon, and ultimately traveling to Mars.
Meanwhile, in Stockholm
🏘️ A threat to the housing market and the Swedish economy is coming. More and more people believe that the Riksbank will repeat its record increase next week with the same unexpected high core inflation as seen in October.
🚨 6 men were convicted of aggravated weapons crimes in Sollentuna. The men were found guilty of knowingly possessing weapons that are considered to be particularly dangerous.
🧶 Interested in crafts? Kraftverk – Crafts for a New Age is an ongoing exhibition at Sven-Harry Art Museum until January 22rd, where you can experience the feeling of modern Swedish craftsmanship. Another exhibition is Juxtaposing Craft at Östasiatiska Museet, showcasing traditional craft and contemporary making in Japan and the Nordic Countries. It is open until winter 2023.
🏦 Goldman Sachs paid $12 million to settle a sexism complaint that executives from the company created a hostile environment for women at the firm.
💸 More than 1 million creditors could be affected by the FTX bankruptcy. The group intends to publish a list of the 50 largest creditors before Friday.
📉 Barclays predicts 2023 to have the weakest growth in four decades, with recessions in Europe and the UK, and the highest growth in India.
Coca Cola is the best selling soft drink in most of the year, but this is not the case in Sweden. Over the holiday season, a national brand of drinks outsells Coca Cola, Julmust . In fact, Julmust outsells all soft drinks combined throughout the month of December.
The drink then disappears from stores and reappears again in April as Påskmust, but it is the same exact drink, just in a different bottle.
Made with 💛 in Stockholm
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