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Newsletter from the Nordic Labour Journal 8/2015

Theme: Refugees - burden or resource?

Tighten up!

The limit has been reached. Controls are being increased and things are being tightened up. Even Sweden has thrown in the towel. Swedish asylum rules will be adapted to fit with the EU’s minimum level. What now? Will the Nordic welfare societies stand the test?

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What happens when the refugee stream has been stemmed?

“It’s like on a plane when the oxygen masks have been activated. When you’re told to put on your own mask before helping people sitting next to you. If we are to help the world, we must look after our own country first,” says Jøran Kallmyr, State Secretary at the Norwegian Ministry of Justice.

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Researcher: ”Lowering the minimum wage creates a new underclass”

There is agreement on one thing when it comes to refugees — the many newly arrived must be integrated into their new societies. They need accommodation, language skills and jobs. The Nordic cooperation could do with sharing experiences for how to achieve that.

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Entrepreneurs with a clear message about refugees

Finland has been caught unprepared by a flow of refugees the size of which the country has not experienced since World War II and the evacuation of Finnish Karelia. Many private individuals have been willing to help look after the new arrivals by offering food, clothes and accommodation. And now entrepreneurs are starting to turn up at refugee centres.

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Marginalised youths on the labour ministers’ agenda

“No youths should be left to their own devices for longer periods of time,” Danish Noemi Katznelson told Nordic labour ministers when she presented her latest research in Copenhagen recently. Marginalised youths and work were the themes for discussion between the ministers and the social partners, with a focus on preventative measures against unemployment.

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New President of LO-Denmark defends the Nordic model

The new first lady of the Danish trade union movement, Lizette Risgaard, is a staunch defender of Nordic cooperation and has already proven that she will fight to the bitter end in defence of the Nordic collective bargaining model.

Europe wants to turn waste into gold

Leading Danish politicians and businesses believe the circular economy is about to become a mega trend in Europe. Now they get backing from a new study which lists the enormous economic benefits which following a better use of resources. A new EU plan is in the works.

New regulations improve Swedish workers’ protection against bullying

Swedish employers are to become better at preventing people going off sick because of unhealthy workloads or bullying at work. That is what new regulations from the Swedish Work Environment Authority aim to achieve. They contain clearer rules for how employers should work with organisational and social work environment issues.

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Nordregio: Young Icelanders shy away from traditional occupations

Icelandic youths are not interested in a future career in agriculture or fisheries. The only animals they will consider looking after in the future are pets. They would rather become coaches or work in the fitness sector, according to a fresh study from Nordregio which has mapped the future perspectives of young people in the Arctic.

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Has EU gender equality policy lost its momentum?

Yes, reckons Finnish researcher Johanna Kantola. The EU Court of Justice, meanwhile, is having a positive impact through judgements which could also have major consequences in the Nordic region, according to Kirsten Ketscher, Professor of Social Security and Welfare at the University of Copenhagen.

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