The Swedish government has launched an inquiry that will propose legislation to make Swedish language skills compulsory for citizenship. Unlike many of its European neighbours, Sweden currently has no language or civics tests for people applying for citizenship. Instead, they need to have lived in Sweden legally for a certain length of time and shown good behaviour, which means that a criminal record or unpaid debts can affect applications.
It is 3.30pm, and the first workers begin to trickle out of the curved glass headquarters of the Stockholm IT giant Ericsson. John Langared, a 30-year-old programmer, is hurrying to pick up his daughter from school. He has her at home every other week, so tends to alternate short hours one week with long hours the next.
Stockholm has long enjoyed a reputation as one of the world’s leading cleantech hubs. From cleantech equipment vendor Climeon to solar cell company Exerger, the city is pioneering tomorrow’s sustainable solutions, today. It’s for this reason that Sweden’s capital was chosen to host the 15th annual Cleantech Forum Europe.
Stockholm has dropped out of the top 20 in an annual quality of life index for expatriates, and the reason behind its decline is apparently neither work permit waiting times nor the housing crisis. The Swedish capital fell from 20th place last year to 23rd in the 2018 quality of living ranking by human resources consulting company Mercer, which looks at life for expat workers in Sweden.