Collection: NJMR Special Issue - Volume 7, Issue 2

Special Issue Article

Passing the Buck: The case of failing multilevel governance and vulnerable EU migrants in Sweden



Sweden represents an intriguing paradox regarding EU migrant integration. Its welfare state institutions are highly developed; its integration policies have a solid record. Still, a substantial proportion of EU migrants are facing poor working conditions, unemployment and homelessness. This article highlights the ongoing difficulties, both for EU migrants to Sweden, as well as for a broad range of Swedish public actors seeking to devise governance solutions in a frequently ad hoc manner. We argue that while EU migrant integration is a policy challenge reflecting a multilevel setting, there is little evidence that multilevel governance has emerged thus. Rather, actors at all levels seek instead to shift the responsibilities associated with EU migrant integration to other levels, maintaining that EU migrant integration is beyond their competencies and resource levels. The analysis draws upon public documents and interviews with the key national and local stakeholders.


EU mobilityVulnerable EU migrantsMultilevel governanceSwedenStockholmGothenburg
  • Year: 2017
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 2
  • Page/Article: 114-123
  • DOI: 10.1515/njmr-2017-0010
  • Published on 27 Jun 2017
  • Peer Reviewed