The Norway model: a new approach to immigration and asylum

Germany is this weekend seeing whether or not Angela Merkel will be able to form a government as she deals with the political fallout from her immigration policy. Quite a contrast from Norway, whose Conservative-led coalition recently entered its second term – after taking a very different approach to refugees. Last week I met Sylvi Listhaug, who holds a recently-created position: Norway’s Minister for Immigration & Integration. She’s with the Progress Party, the junior partner in coalition. You often read about her being ‘outspoken’ or ‘controversial’ and I was interested to see what kind of radical views she holds. At the end of the interview, I was left wondering if her take on refugee policy is actually further-sighted and more morally defensible than the Merkel approach.

Norway’s approach has been different from the offset. When Sweden accepted 160,000 asylum-seekers in 2015, the Norwegians took in 30,000 – and this year, so far, it’s 2,000. No country has seen a sharper fall in refugees. In her interview, she outlined the following elements of the Norwegian model.

  • Alain

    If that is the best approach they can come up with, then there is little difference other than it is a slower boat to hell. Wealthy countries do NOT have any obligation whatsoever, especially when none of these are refugees in the true sense. I won’t even go into the government foreign aid rubbish.

    • Linda1000

      It’s still better than hotel Canada with “open borders”. Norway’s immigration numbers are way down. I agree that they have no obligation to provide unlimited foreign aid but what is a more realistic solution?

  • Linda1000

    The Norway model for immigration makes a hell of a lot more sense than what Trudope is currently imposing on Canada.
    Also saw this story today on yet another problem with Canada’s unchecked muslim immigration.

    There is a lot of fear within the Muslim community, which is acting as a barrier from them to come out and meet with other people as well. But … we are taking our own baby steps and just to support them to come up and speak up,” she said. 

    Shoaib said one of the challenges is the amount of propaganda that ties violence to Islam. 

    “If you really want to help women who are suffering violence, please do not link this with their religion, because religion is important to them,” she said. 

    ‘Dire’ situation

    The Calgary YWCA’s Patricia Irvine was at the event. She says her organization helped 1,100 women and more than 600 children last year.

    She called the lack of shelter space in the city “dire,” and says domestic violence is an issue that can touch anyone.

  • Frances

    Don’t forget that the Norwegians fought the Nazis and the Swedes collaborated.