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How many Stockholmers are actually immigrants?

International Migrants Day is celebrated annually on December 18th. It's a day dedicated to the contributions, efforts, and rights of millions of migrants around the world.

How many Stockholmers are actually immigrants?
Photo: Beyond Borders magazine

It might not be a day you had marked in your calendar, but it should be.

Now more than ever it's important to promote acceptance of people from different backgrounds. Particularly in Sweden, where the population gets more diverse every day.

To raise awareness of International Migrants Day, the team at Beyond Borders — a new online lifestyle magazine launched by Swedish tech company Rebtel — hit the streets of Sweden's capital to chat with Stockholmers about where they come from.

“We think being a migrant is something worth celebrating,” says Beyond Borders editor Solveig Rundquist (an immigrant herself) of the video. “After all, when it comes down to it, migrant just means ‘mover’. We’re movers and shakers who get things done. We should reclaim the word – and celebrate this day.” 

Watch the video to find out just how many randomly-picked residents actually come from a foreign background. What they discovered might surprise you!

Rebtel is one of Stockholm’s most international companies, with over 35 nationalities on its workforce of about 85 people. Its new website, Beyond Borders, is described as an “online magazine for all those who identify with the reality of a life beyond arbitrary lines drawn on a map – and all the struggles that come with it”.

This article was produced by The Local Client Studio and sponsored by Rebtel.

 

IMMIGRATION

‘Discrimination’: Austria’s benefit cuts for immigrants ‘go against free movement’

Benefit cuts imposed by Austria on immigrants whose children live in their country of origin contradict EU law becasue they constitute "discrimination on the ground of nationality", a legal adviser at the bloc's top court said on Thursday.

A picture of the sign and logo of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg
A picture of the sign and logo of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg on January 13, 2020. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP)

The opinion is the latest legal hitch to befall a series of measures — imposed by a previous government that included the far-right — which sought to restrict benefit payments to foreigners.

Richard de la Tour, advocate general of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), said the cuts to child benefits constituted “an infringement of the right of free movement conferred on EU citizens”.

The specific case relates to reforms that came into effect in 2019 which indexed child benefits according to where the recipient’s children live.

This meant reduced payments for tens of thousands of eastern Europeans who work in Austria — notably in the care sector — but whose children remain in their countries of origin.

The advocate general’s advice is not binding on the court but it is seen as influential.

De la Tour found that the cuts were “indirect discrimination on the ground of nationality which is permissible only if it is objectively justified”, and that Austria had failed to do so.

They contravened the principle that “if a migrant worker pays social contributions and taxes in a member state, he or she must be able to benefit from the same allowances as nationals of that state”, he added.

In 2020 the European Commission, supported by six eastern member states, brought an action before the CJEU claiming Austria was “failing to fulfil its obligations”.

Former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz had said he hoped the cuts would save 114 million euros ($130 million) a year but in 2019 they recouped 62 million euros.

The former coalition also introduced benefit cuts for immigrants who failed to reach a certain level of German, but those measures were subsequently overturned by the Austrian courts.

The government that introduced in the cuts was brought down in a corruption scandal in May 2019.

It included the centre-right Austrian People’s Party (OeVP), which is still the senior partner in the current government.

However their current coalition partners, the Greens, opposed the benefit cuts at the time.

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