Wyly Wade

Syria refugees home free in Sweden

Map of Sweden with EU flag

For Syrian refugees in Sweden, an announcement that they will be granted permanent residence is a blessing. Will other EU countries follow Sweden’s example? And what about refugees who come thereafter? Sweden has become the first European Union country to send a positive signal to Syrians who have fled their country due to the ongoing civil war: permanent residency for those who have already made it into Sweden. The decision, says Anders Danielsson, the director-general of Sweden’s Migration Board, stems from the EU’s failure to act on growing numbers of refugees. “The conflict in Syria has heated up, to put it mildly,” he said. “And we can assume that it’s not going to be resolved in the foreseeable future.” Since 2012, 14,700 Syrians have fled to Sweden. Eight thousand of them are to receive permanent residency. The remaining 6,700 – as well as subsequent arrivals – may follow. Danielsson knows the new rule may spur more Syrians to seek refuge in the Scandinavian country. And those refugees, too, are to benefit from the change in policy.


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