Migrants in Greece

The migrants who try to enter the EU stir up strong emotions on debate and leadership sides in Sweden. Photo: Freedom House

Current debate

Refugees at the EU border stir up emotions

After Turkey opened its borders with Greece this weekend, there has been a debate about Sweden's responsibility to receive refugees and respect the right to asylum. Debate and leader pages have advocated everything from tougher boundaries to more solidarity with the people who are fleeing.

This weekend, Turkey opened its borders with Europe. Thousands of people have gathered at the border with Greece. People met by Greece with reinforced border guards and tear gas. The country has also stopped the right to seek asylum, which has led to strong criticism from, among others UNHCR.

The current situation at the EU's external borders has aroused strong feelings on several sides of debate and leadership. In Göteborgs-Posten, a number of debaters - from the lawyer Emma Persson to Jacob Flärdh and Sara Damber from the organization Child 10 - write about the right to asylum and Sweden's duty to act in the refugee crisis.

“Seeking asylum is a human right. In a Europe where right-wing extremists are gaining more and more influence over our policy, many seem to forget it, ”writes lawyer Emma Persson.

She adds: "Standing up for solidarity and the right to asylum is dismissed as naive and those who do so risk hatred and drive on social media".

Jacob Flärdh and Sara Damber from Child 10 think that Sweden, and the other EU member states, need to take responsibility for the thousands of lonely children who live completely without protection in Greece. They write: "Now the Swedish government also demands a common position for an immediate relocation of the most vulnerable children who are already in Greece".

We can find another perspective in Expressen, where the editorial staff thinks that Sweden must help Greece to keep the border closed. "If Sweden wants to help needy refugees in the world, large-scale migrant flows of this kind are the worst possible selection method," writes Expressen.

Sida's CEO Carin Jämtin and Sabina Alkire at the OPHI research center address another topic, namely world poverty. Although one billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty since 1990, every tenth person in the world still lives in extreme poverty, according to the World Bank. Carin Jämtin and Sabina Alkire believe that we must address the root causes of poverty, which is more than just a lack of money.

"The point is that as long as you do not look at all dimensions, you will never reduce poverty in a sustainable way, but people remain poor or vulnerable to falling into poverty," write Carin Jämtin and Sabina Alkire.

Despite this, there is a reason for Sweden to be optimistic, say Silvia Ernhagen and Parul Sharma in the magazine OmVärlden. When the economic co-operation organization OECD examined Swedish development assistance last year, Sweden was praised for reaching out to the people who need it most.

"It is a very good grade that must be safeguarded," write Silvia Ernhagen and Parul Sharma and point out that it is good that Sweden is now making a major democratic investment in development aid. "As more and more countries restrict democratic space, this is more important than ever," they write.


A selection of the last week's editorial and debate articles about Sweden's role in the world:

The refugee crisis

Fear of refugees makes Europe weaker
The editorial staff, Dagens Nyheter

Red-green chaos about migration - again
The editorial staff, Expressen

Disgusting to pose in hunting clothes when asylum seekers are shot dead in Greece
Emma Persson, Gothenburg Post

The refugee catastrophe in Greece demands that Sweden take care of the children
Jacob Flärdh and Sara Damber, Göteborgs-Posten

We can not redo 2015
Tove Lifvendahl, Svenska Dagbladet

The climate

Stop Preem's expansion in Lysekil - phase out fossil fuels!
Greta Thunberg / Fridays for future, Greenpeace, Klimatriksdagen, m.fl, Dagens ETC

Our environmental conscience is the death of the miners
Denis Mukwege and Niclas Lindgren, Aftonbladet

Criminalize large-scale environmental destruction
Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson & Anna Sundström, Svenska Dagbladet

Swedish aid

Page: Every tenth person in the world is extremely poor
Carin Jämtin and Sabina Alkire, Aftonbladet

Small space for women in the world's largest democracy
Silvia Ernhagen and Parul Sharma, OmVärlden

Is there something in the text that is not correct? Contact us at opinion@fuf.se

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