Norwegian politicians more willing to force-integrate than before

A car mechanic is filling engine oil in a car.A car mechanic is filling engine oil in a car.Photo: Frank May / NTB scanpix

Since 2003, Norwegian governments have added one coercive measure after another said Fafo researcher, Anne Britt Djuve. She believes it has changed Norwegian values.

The immigration and integration debate in Norway has been characterised by whether Norwegian values are threatened by immigration, especially non-western immigration, but Fafo researcher, Djuve turned the premise on its head wrote Vårt Land newspaper.

It is not the immigrants who change “us”, it is the politicians who since 2003 have used coercive measures in the name of integration, and thus have changed Norwegian values said Djuve.

“The support for illiberal instruments in integration policy has increased” she said.

Requirement to become Norwegian

According to the newspaper, she shows this in the article “Refugee integration policy the Norwegian way – why good ideas fail and bad ideas prevail” in the journal, Transfer.

One example is the requirement for 300 hours of Norwegian language and social studies that has been raised to 600 hours, with a requirement for a final examination and that participants pass the examination to obtain a permanent residence permit. Among other requirements mentioned are Fremskrittsparti’s (Frp’s) integration committee’s wish for immigrants to adopt Norwegian values.

‘’This has spread across Western Europe. The work line – or activation policy – consists of a combination of qualifying measures and requirements’’ said Djuve.

Education is important

In Norwegian integration policy, behavioural control has grown greatly, while little has been done with qualifications, of which qualifications such as education are seen as very useful.

The researcher warned what she thinks is an authoritarian development.

‘’The research shows that what actually has an affect is to learn Norwegian and get a formal education. Since 2003, integration policy has clearly moved towards more control and sanctions. The qualifying measures themselves are just a trick’’ she said.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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