Bringing guest lectures on international politics to campus, Lund’s Association of Foreign Affairs kicked off their new season with a bang with Swedish integration minister Erik Ullenhag.
Held inside the university’s Palaestra building, two lecture halls were combined into one to accommodate the many guests – mostly students – who had come to hear an opinion from someone directly involved in Swedish integration policies.
“A moral obligation”
Throughout the evening, Erik Ullenhag presented his earnest conviction towards open immigration policies. He defended his stance on the grounds of it being both a “moral obligation” and a necessity to Sweden’s continued economic prosperity. The minister also expressed his opposition towards going the direction of Sweden’s Nordic siblings, Denmark and Norway, which are currently pursuing more closed-border policies.
There were, however, some critical reactions from the audience. One person expressed skepticism about immigrants’ contributions to Swedish society, in reference to Finland’s situation of not having immigrants for economic assistance.
– Finland HAS in fact benefited from the free movement of labor in the past. I also believe their closed-door policies will hurt them in the future, said the minister.
“International presence: an advantage”
Erik Ullenhag also briefly commented on Lund prior to the lecture to Lundagård. Stating that while international cities like Lund and Malmö must tackle language and employment challenges for immigrants, he predicted that the south of Sweden “will have an advantage in the world because of its international presence”.
More to come
Lana Goral, PR spokesperson for UPF, expressed great optimism towards the group’s coming year.
– I am very pleased with how the evening went, and am impressed by my colleagues’ efforts in securing a great speaker lineup for this year”, said Lana Goral and continued:
– Among the individuals who will speak this year are Tariq Ali, an author and Oxford professor, and Jan Eliasson, a former head of the UN General Assembly.
Students can learn how to get involved with the organization at UPF’s Get Active Meeting tonight, 18:15 in Café Athen.
Everyone else, meanwhile, can count on more learning opportunities outside the classroom at future lectures in the coming year.