Sweden has a remarkable track record in sustaining a high level of well-being of its citizens. The country performs above the OECD average in all dimensions of the OECD’s Better Life Index, and these good outcomes are typically shared widely across the population. Sweden is one of the leading countries in receiving refugees and a strong supporter of ambitious global goals to fight climate change and implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. However, for this success story to continue, the country needs to reverse the declining educational performance of its youth, speed up labour market integration of newly arrived immigrants and address infrastructure deficiencies, particularly in the housing sector. Also, Sweden’s high ambitions with respect to environmental protection call for further policy action to advance the transition to a low carbon and circular economy.
The European Union should reform its legal labour migration policies to get its fair share of the global talent pool, according to a new report published by the OECD.
The OECD series Recruiting Immigrant Workers comprises country studies of labour migration policies. Each volume analyses whether migration policy is being used effectively and efficiently to help meet labour needs, without adverse effects on labour markets. It focuses mainly on regulated labour migration movements over which policy has immediate and direct oversight. This particular volume looks at the efficiency of European Union instruments for managing labour migration.
When nearly a million Vietnamese “boat people” fled their country in the late 1970s and early 1980s and sought refuge elsewhere, they were typically seen as a burden and often turned away. Eventually, many were allowed to settle in the US. Most arrived speaking little or no English and with few assets or relevant job skills. Yet Vietnamese refugees are now more likely to be employed and have higher incomes than people born in the US.
The unfolding refugee crisis requires a bold, comprehensive and global response. At the same time, OECD countries should adapt their policies to foster the integration of those who are going to stay. While this implies significant up-front costs, it is also essential to reaping sizeable medium- to long-term social and economic benefits.
The OECD and CEB have led global work on migration for decades: the OECD has contributed analysis, data, knowledge, and tools to inform dialogue and shape policy; and CEB has worked on the frontlines, financing social projects for migrants, refugees, displaced persons, and other vulnerable groups. Given the complementarities between our work, the potential synergies from co-operation are clear.
Sweden should address housing shortages, begin integration activities early, and improve the support for those with low skills to speed up the effective integration of refugees, according to a new OECD report.
The OECD LEED Programme launches this "Call for Initiatives" to extract what local authorities and other actors know works, what the new scenario is demanding and how equipped they are to respond. We are interested in learning from the experiences of EU member countries, the wider OECD area as well as other countries.
With the right approach and policies, all countries ─ origin, transit and host ─ can harness the benefits of migration and open up new opportunities for economic and social growth at national, regional and international levels. The OECD remains fully committed to advancing an ambitious, comprehensive and coordinated global agenda to help navigate the current refugee crisis and better harness the strengths and skills of migrants.
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In the last 25 years Greece turned from an emigration to an immigration country. Today the country is faced with an unprecedented humanitarian crisis with the arrival of close to 950,000 people between January 2015 and February 2016.