Closing the Doors to the Swedish
In the 1980s the context of Swedish immigration control changed in three respects. Firstly, the end of the Cold War made Sweden's geographical location in the very north of Europe, far from the most frequented routes of international migration, less advantageous than before. When furthermore, the Soviet system's efficient emigration control disappeared, Sweden suddenly feared large and irregular migration flows from the East. Secondly, as a small country with highly developed technology, Sweden had always been dependent on international trade and capital. In the 1990s this dependence increased heavily with consequences for Swedish immigration control and not least for refugee policy. New policy programmes were formulated including new forms of international coordination and an intensified cooperation within the European Union and the Schengen agreement. Thirdly, a trend towards deregulation of the labour market encouraged the growth of an informal sector, weakening the social control that until recently had prevented most illegal immigration.
During this period Sweden has closed its doors to numbers of new immigrants, especially from less fortunate countries in the South and in the East, in the same way as other countries in the industrialized world have done. Although some of the conditions have changed, Sweden's ability to control immigration has remained high thanks to know-how and trained people as well as well-established aliens legislation. Both external and internal control methods have long been used. Sweden has until recently combined control and integration into one immigration policy under one immigration administration. However, in 1998 two Ministries became involved, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Interior. In June 1998 a new central integration authority was established