Sweden, known officially as the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian country found in Northern Europe. By area, it is the third-largest country in the European Union, at 450,295 square kilometers. Its capital city is Stockholm, which is also the country’s largest city. Sweden has been ranked as the fourth most competitive country in the world, and has a rapidly growing economy with equal distribution of income.
The country boasts a rich culture and heritage, which has attracted many tourists over the years. The 2019 estimated population for the country is 10.04 million. In 2019, Sweden’s population is estimated to be 10.04 million, making it the 91st largest country in the world by population. According to Statistics Sweden, the population was exceeded by 9 million for the first time on August 12, 2004.
The demographic profile of Sweden has altered drastically due to immigration patterns since the 1970s. The larger amount of the population is situated in the urban areas; approximately 86% to be precise. The estimated rate of urbanization during 2010-2015 is 0.6% at an annual rate of change. The capital of Sweden is Stockholm and this city is inhabited by a population of over 911,000, with 1.4 million in urban areas, and 2.2 million in the metropolitan areas.
In the year 1570, the estimated Swedish population stood at 900,000. Over the centuries, the statistics have only showed progress: 1,485,000 in 1700; 4,099,000 in 1865; 8,562,000 in 1990 and the current 9,801,616 in 2016. When the Swedish census was conducted in 2005, it showed an increase of 475,322 when compared with the 1990 census, which means an average increase of 31,680 annually.
THE RAPE CAPITAL OF EUROPE
The 3.3-hectare uninhabited island of Märket, in the Baltic Sea, is shared equally between Sweden and Finland. Well, literally equally! When it was discovered that the Finnish lighthouse was built on the Swedish side, Finland gave (maybe on Sweden’s insistence?) a part of its territory to Sweden as compensation, in order to keep its lighthouse. Funny how countries fight for really small chunks of land!
SWEDEN AND HER OPEN BORDERS
Sweden: Truth, lies and manipulated narratives? – BBC Newsnighthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCKxyDTlfHs
Three countries border Sweden: Finland, Norway, and Denmark. Learn more about the political and physical delineations of Sweden in this article.
The Märket lighthouse is also the westernmost land point of Finland. Once you are on the island, you can cross an international border as many times as you want. Well, not only a border but also a time zone.
The Sweden-Denmark border was established back in 1658, and it is a maritime border which runs along Øresund and Kattegat and in the Baltic Sea between Scania and Bornholm. Øresund is the location where territorial waters from the two nations meet exclusively making a stretch that is approximately 71 miles from Höganäs to Falsterbo. Expectedly, since it is a maritime border, the most common mode of transport is through ferries. However, there is also a single road connection, which was opened in 2000, that is about 9.9 miles long providing linkage between the two countries. Other crossings include car ferries from Frederikshavn to Göteborg and Grenå to Varberg.
Looking back at the history of the region, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway were once a single territory during the era of the Kalmar Union which broke up in 1523. Up until 1658, Denmark was the owner of the historic provinces of Blekinge, Bohuslän, and Scania. Halland was also a part of Denmark until 1645. During that time, the border between Denmark and Sweden went through the present-day southern region of Sweden. However, Denmark handed over the territories to Sweden in 1645 and 1658 in the Treaty of Roskilde. That secession of the territories was what shifted the border to Øresund.
The present-day border between Norway and Sweden stayed as the border between Sweden and Denmark-Norway until Denmark and Norway split up in 1814. After the split, the modern day Sweden-Denmark border at Øresund became the border between Denmark and the union between Norway and Sweden until Sweden and Norway went their separate ways in 1905.
Since 1958, the Nordic Passport Union deemed passport checks at the border unnecessary. Despite the relaxed passport checking, Denmark maintained strict passport checks until laws of the European Union (the Schengen acquis) removed the checks in 2001. However, Sweden reverted to strict border checks in 2015 due to the European migrant issues.
This border is almost entirely located in two water bodies namely the Gulf of Bothnia and the Tornio River with a few miles on land. The border begins in the north at the Treriksröset tripoint with border signs marking the first section of the border for about 0.14 miles. However, the border signs are unavailable when the border is within the rivers Kuohkimajärvi, Kilpisjärvi, Könkämäeno, Tornionjoki, and Muonionjoki for a distance of about 345 miles all the way to Tornio. From Tornio, the border travels in a straight line for about 2.5 miles while sandwiched by the towns of Haparanda and Tornio. After that, it enters the sea and moves in a straight line for about 15.7 miles. In the sea, it goes through islands such as Kataja until it gets to a spot in the Bothnian Bay where the territorial waters between Finland and Sweden are separated by international waters. The waters re-converge in the Sea of Aland and the border runs for another nine miles.
Originally, the border was formed back in 1809 after the government of Sweden handed Finland over to Russia. The course of the border was vaguely described in the fifth article of the Treaty of Fredrikshamn. The vague description laid out River Tornionjoki, River Muonionjoki, the Gulf of Bothnia, and the Sea of Åland to be the borders. Islands were divided on the basis of who was nearest to them. Later on, the border was amended in the treaties of Aland in 1921 and in 1972 during the treaty of continental plates. Another agreement that was made was one that requires the border to be examined every 25 years. The most recent examination was in 2006. The 2006 inspection saw the border being moved in some places while other places were left intact.
Since both countries are in the Schengen area, people can use the border anywhere to cross. Goods that need to be declared to customs have to be declared but whoever is carrying the goods is also free to use the border anywhere. People wishing to cross can use bridges in places like Muonio, Pello, Kolari, and other places.
This border runs for about 1,010 miles on land. For both Norway and Sweden, this is the longest border that either country has. Due to war in the past, the border has been shifted a number of times. For example, changes were made during the 1645 Treaty of Brömsebro, the 1658 Treaty of Roskilde, and the Treaty of Copenhagen in 1660.
Another treaty was signed in 1751. This treaty defined the border based on the knowledge of the local populations living close to the border. The people responsible for the treaty decided to use the people living in border regions to determine which parish belonged to which country. In regions where there were no human populations, such as in mountainous regions, the border was assumed to run in a water body such as a river. After a few disputes were sorted out in the parishes of Idre, Kautokeino, Karasjok, Särna, and Lierne, several border cairns were constructed between Sweden and Norway and Finland. To this day, the majority of the cairns are still intact.
The fact that the two nations are part of the Schengen Area should ensure that immigration controls do not exist. However, border checks between the two countries are very much in existence. The checks are sporadically occurring all along the border on either side. In addition, CCTV cameras have been installed in order to combat smuggling. In order to use flights or ferries to cross, a passport check is not necessarily done but an identity card is a requirement. Custom stations are located in places such as Björnfjell, Vauldalen, and Eda.
HISTORY OF SWEDEN
Almost two-thirds (62%) of Finns revealed they believe Islam is fundamentally incompatible with the culture and values in Finland. Over a quarter (28%), meanwhile, indicated that they would not accept a Muslim as a family member and 14 per cent that they would not accept a Muslim as a neighbour.
Finland and Italy are the only two countries where over a half of respondents – 62 per cent in the former and 53 per cent in the latter – view that there is a fundamental contradiction between Islam and the national culture and values. In France, Portugal and Sweden, only roughly a third of respondents were of that opinion.
In absolute terms, the number of migrants coming to Finland isn’t striking. But the sharp increase in recent years is, and it is helping fuel an unusually divisive debate over identity in this northeastern outpost of the EU.
Earlier this week, these disputes burst out into the political open. Finland’s Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, who once offered to put up refugees in his own home, threatened to break up the government when one of his coalition partner parties — The Finns — put in charge a hardline anti-immigration leader.
“There is no basis for continuing cooperation with The Finns,” he said on Twitter. After a brief stand-off, The Finns — the far-right party which is Finland’s third-biggest political force — imploded and 20 of its more moderate MPs left to form the “New Alternative” movement which will continue to prop up Sipilä’s government.
For Sipilä, who has run the country since 2015, the coalition between his Center Party, the National Coalition Party and The Finns became untenable when The Finns elected the right-wing blogger-turned MP and MEP Jussi Halla-aho on Saturday. He replaced Timo Soini, who stepped down after 20 years as leader of The Finns; the party’s new leader has a much more hardline stance on refugees.
Some 15,000 immigrants came in from outside the EU last year, a 50 percent increase on the year before. Iran, Afghanistan and Syria represent one-third — 5,212 people — of the new arrivals. In 2015, Finland saw an 822 percent increase — the highest in the EU — in the number of first-time refugee applicants. Those numbers, even in per capita terms, are below neighboring Sweden or Norway. And Muslims account for less than one percent of Finland’s population of 5.4 million.
The Christian faith involves helping those in need, regardless of their nationality, religion or gender. Church shelter is the centuries-old Christian traditio
Church shelter is an open activity that aims to ensure the rightful treatment of migrants living in Finland. The Church does not hide people or maintain a parallel asylum system.
Archbishop Kari Mäkinen has emphasised that the Church has a good working relationship with the authorities and stated that parishes are bound to secrecy and confidentiality in their work. Mäkinen sees collaboration with the authorities as vital and essential, but believes it must always be based on the needs and consent of the person in need
n of permitting marginalised groups to seek refuge at churches.
The history of the Baltic Sea stretches back to the Roman Empire. The sea is associated with early traders and merchants from Scandinavia, who built their empire around the sea. The sea was initially referred to by several names acquired from different communities. For example, the Tacitus society referred to the sea as Mare Suebicum, while Jordanes called it the Germanic Sea. The name adapted and used to date was from Adam of Bremen. The motivation behind the name was the outline of the sea which resembles a belt as well as an island that has been regarded as legendary. Estonian people refer to the body of water as the West Sea, based on their geographical location to the sea.
The land border between Finland and the USSR was demarcated in the Treaty of Paris (1947) following the Continuation War (194144), in which Finnish Karelia and Petsamo were ceded to the Soviet Union. The naval border was established in 1940 and more accurately defined in 1965. The border is uncontroversial and clearly defined in law. Both states verified the inviolability of borders and territorial integrity in the first Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe in 1975. An earlier demarcation was the Treaty of Tartu in 1920.
At the height of the immigrant influx into Europe in 2014 and 2015, Sweden with a population of 6.7 million, accepted 244,178 asylum seekers – by far, the highest rate per capita in the EU. Since then the rate of violent crime has soared, particularly sexual assault cases.
The Swedish police have outlined over 50 areas with high immigrant populations that are “marred by crime, social unrest and insecurity.” Of these, 23 have been classified as “especially vulnerable,” or what migration critics call “no-go zones,” where even the police have trouble operating.
Besides the high incidence of gang violence and drug trafficking, residents complain these areas are being virtually colonised by immigrants whose cultures clash with Swedish values. Many Swedes and older immigrants alike have begun to say that Sweden doesn’t feel like Sweden anymore.
The country’s carefully regulated effort to allow only selected migrants to be admitted, together with its commitment to ensuring social equality for those who arrive, closely fits the model to which many other European countries (with varying degrees of success) aspire.
In addition to its wealth, Norway has many advantages as a destination country for immigrants and refugees. It has maintained a robust labor market despite recent recessions, and has demonstrated its commitment to humanitarian protection by accepting a number of refugees from the former Yugoslavia.
Its high standard of living — so high that the UN Human Development Program has named Norway the world’s country with the highest standard of living for four years running — provides a distinct incentive for the country to avoid being lumped with greater Europe.
Norway’s modern migration policy is based on the idea that the welfare state, the thread that ties Norwegian society together, has limited resources. Hence, two basic principles have remained consistent throughout Norway’s development into an immigrant-receiving country: 1) immigration must be limited; and 2) all immigrants who are admitted to Norway should have equal legal and practical opportunities in society.
This latter point deserves additional description, as the concept of integration has changed over the past three decades. Every White Paper since the 1970s has emphasized a respect for immigrants and their language and culture. However, over time the government has emphasized more strongly immigrants’ duty to participate and learn the Norwegian language.
In the White Paper presented in 1980, Norwegian integration is focused not on assimilation, but on both adaptation to the Norwegian culture and protecting immigrants from the forces of assimilation. Another White Paper from 1988 emphasized “respect for immigrants’ language and culture.”
By the White Paper of 1996-1997, the concept of integration included the obligation to participate, partly to achieve a successful multicultural society, and partly to improve the success of the welfare state. In practice, this includes measures specifically aimed at immigrants, including language training, labor market integration, and initiatives to prevent racism and xenophobia.
Historically, undocumented migrants have not been a concern for Norway. The country’s geographic location is one reason, but the structure of its labor market has made it difficult for the undocumented to get jobs or benefit from the health and education systems without a national ID number. However, undocumented migrants have become a larger problem in the past decade, in part due to the opening of borders as a result of the Schengen accord.
Though little data is available on undocumented migrants in Norway, many undocumented migrants in Norway today are rejected asylum seekers who have yet to leave the country. In January and February of 2004, 233 illegal immigrants were stopped in Norway, as opposed to 109 interventions in the same period in 2003.
Smugglers or criminal networks may be involved in the transfer of as many as 80 percent of asylum seekers, and Norway has also become a transit country for migrants aiming to reach the United Kingdom or the United States.
While asylum applications are decreasing in Norway, the number of deportations is rising. Since 2012, when amendments to the Immigration Act were introduced extending the list of grounds for detention, detention has increasingly been used in order to make return policies more efficient. Between 2012 and 2016, the number of people placed in detention nearly doubled. Norway also imposes a highly securitised regime in its sole detention centre, which has experienced repeated riots and attempted suicides. The facility is run by uniformed police and has a prison-like regime that includes intrusive body searches and the use of security cells and solitary confinement. Rights observers have expressed concern that the centre’s excessive control and security measures are detrimental to detainees’ wellbeing.
Norway operates one dedicated immigration detention centre, the Trandum Detention Centre (Trandum Utlendingsinternat), which is a former military barracks located near Olso’s Gardermoen Airport.
While the centre generally offers good material conditions and is visited a few times a year by a Supervisory Board capable of making unannounced visits, it has also been the scene of several incidents, riots, and attempted suicides. The centre is operated by uniformed police and has a prison-like regime. Following its 2015 visit, the Ombudsman observed that the general impression was excessive attention to control and security at the expense of individual detainees’ wellbeing.
The centre uses some of the same security procedures that are used in the country’s correctional facilities: detainees can be locked in their rooms, security cells and solitary confinement are used, and room and intrusive body searches are conducted. Following its visit in 2014, the Norwegian Association for Asylum Seekers (NOAS) also noted that with policies such as detainees being locked in their rooms overnight, the regime within the centre was similar to that in ordinary prisons.
read more about legislations**DENMARK
A plan to send migrants sentenced to deportation, but unable to return home due to risk of torture or execution to a tiny island is set to be approved by the Danish parliament. The island is currently used by scientists from the Technical University of Denmark to research swine flu and rabies vaccines, among others, earning it the nickname “Virus Island” from the right-wing Danish People’s Party. The UN criticised the plan earlier this month and it is seen as a symptom of Denmark’s increasingly hostile stance towards immigration. Al Jazeera’s Katia Lopez Hodoyan reports.
Denmark is planning to send “unwanted” refugees to a remote island
Defying international criticism, Danish lawmakers approved funding to move ‘unwanted’ migrants to a remote island, in a draconian isolation policy
Denmark has moved forward with a plan over isolating “unwanted” migrants through housing them in a remote uninhabited island once used for contagious animals. The Danish parliament approved funding yesterday for its draconian plan to hold foreign criminals on a tiny island, despite criticism from the United Nations and local opposition.
Citing security concerns, the government wants to send up to 100 people who have completed jail sentences but cannot be deported because they are at risk of torture or execution in their home countries, to the island of Lindholm. “They are unwanted in Denmark and they must feel that,” said Integration Minister Inger Stojberg in a Facebook post earlier this month after the proposal was first announced.
According to the plan, the tiny island will be transformed from a contagious diseases laboratory to a detention center. Lindholm is 7 square acres and is currently used by scientists from the Technical University of Denmark researching swine flu and rabies among other things. One ferry traveling to the island is named “Virus.” The center, which will be able to hold up to 100 people, is set to be established in 2021 and will cost 759 million Danish crowns ($115.48 million). Under the plan, the criminals can leave the island during the day but will have to report their whereabouts to authorities and return at night.
Harshly criticized by human rights groups, the draft law was ratified with the support of the Liberal Party (Venstre), the Liberal Alliance and the Conservative People’s Party, and the right-wing populist Danish People’s Party. The Danish parliament approved funding yesterday for a plan to hold foreign criminals on the tiny island, despite criticism from the United Nations and local opposition.
U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet expressed serious concerns about the idea earlier. “I have serious concerns with this plan and we will monitor it and discuss it… with the government,” Bachelet told journalists in Geneva. “We’ve seen the negative impact of such policies of isolation, and [they] should not replicate these policies. Because depriving them of their liberty, isolating them and stigmatizing them will only increase their vulnerability,” she added.
Immigration became a thorny political issue throughout Western Europe in the wake of a record influx of migrants from the Middle East and Africa in 2015, but the split over Lindholm Island suggests the question has taken on unusual dimensions in Denmark. The prosperous Nordic country of 5.8 million stands out among its neighbors for its reluctance to integrate even comparatively small numbers of foreigners. It granted protection to 2,365 people in 2017, compared with Sweden’s nearly 28,000.
Despite a reputation for progressive politics, humanitarianism and a generous welfare state, Denmark has some of the most aggressive anti-immigrant policies in Europe. That has included taking out foreign-newspaper adverts warning potential migrants that they are not welcome, and authorizing police to seize cash and valuables from arriving asylum seekers to offset the cost of their maintenance. By pitting some of Denmark’s long-held values against others, the subject of immigration has not merely divided Denmark, but turned a demographic crisis into an existential one. What, these days, does it mean to be Danish?
In reality, Denmark already is a multiethnic society, and will become only more so in the future. Younger generations of Danes seem more comfortable with this than their elders. At a Dec. 10 rally in front of Copenhagen’s city hall to protest the Lindholm plan, Selma Solkaer, a 15-year-old student from nearby Roskilde, expressed her dismay that Danes could support it. “It’s shocking, especially when Denmark has always been such a big supporter of human rights,” Solkaer said.
In Vordingborg, Mayor Mikael Smed doubts that’s the case. Less than 5% of the population of Vordingborg, with its broad shopping street and neat houses, is foreign-born—a mix of Turks, Iraqis, and Syrians, among others. But most residents of the town, he says, consider the Lindholm Island plan “madness,” especially because another facility for the same ‘tolerated stay’ population already exists. “ I keep asking but no one in the government can explain to me why we need it.”
What happens of will happen to any christians that want to go for a holiday to any muslim country for example in the middle east or take their Bible with them? Google what happen with them.
Some of those countries’ borders are not OPEN – why not?