Kicking-off RESPOND and the Migration Governance Network in Sweden

By Jenni Wirman | Uppsala University

The Carolina Park. Photo: Uppsala Municipality.

The Carolina Park. Photo: Uppsala Municipality.

Just next to the old Carolina Park with a view to the university library, Uppsala Castle, and the Botanical Garden lies the Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre, where RESPOND is coordinated. Further into the university, shielded from the public eye, is the Humanities Theatre, Uppsala University’s latest contribution to the campus. It is in this inspiring environment that the launching of RESPOND and the initiating of Sweden’s Migration Government Network will take place this fall.

The kick-off event venue “Humanities Theatre” at Department of Theology, Uppsala University. Photo: Uppsala University Image Bank.

The kick-off event venue “Humanities Theatre” at Department of Theology, Uppsala University. Photo: Uppsala University Image Bank.


The kick-off event aims to gather actors from national, regional and local levels who in various ways encounter asylum seekers and/or refugees in their work in order to create a Migration Governance Network (MGN). These networks are to be set up in all 11 RESPOND consortium countries and will play an important role in differentiating and deepening the ongoing project and it’s work packages (WP1-7). The function of the different MGNs will vary depending on the function and utility of these networks, which will be decided internally in each specific context.

Sweden will hold general elections on 9 September, in order to elect representatives to parliament, municipalities and counties. Migration and integration are important topics, and the election results may have a serious impact on the course Sweden takes in this area in forthcoming years. Will Sweden prolong its internal border controls after November 2018? Will the new law on residence permits for upper secondary school studies for youth remain in force? How will the new government respond to segregation, gang violence and unemployment among non-native citizens in the coming years? Consequently, at our meeting we will not only look at past year’s migration and integration policies and practices, but at what we may expect from the future.

The interior of “Humanities Theatre”. Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt.

The interior of “Humanities Theatre”. Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt.

Invitations have been sent far and wide to governmental institutions, municipalities, NGOs and to individual culture brokers. The three keynote speakers with expertise in migration and integration are: Lisa Pelling from the think-tank Arena Idé, Kristof Tamas from Migration Studies Delegation and Minna Ljunggren from the think-tank Fores. Each will present their thoughts on possible Swedish post-election responses and policies on migration and integration.  Everything is set to enhance an interesting dialogue between these stakeholders. Naturally, “fika” will be served in the traditional Swedish fashion.

Are you actively operating in the field of migration and integration policies? Are you interested in contributing to an ongoing research project and sharing your insights? Then join us this September in Uppsala! The event will be held in Swedish. For details and to rsvp, please email  jenni.wirman@crs.uu.se. Welcome!


 

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