The Swedish Model is often looked at as one of the most advanced model, integrating
aspects of social sustainability, and therefore, pointed as an example by many as far as
employment, flexibility and job security is concerned.
Even though one single week can never be enough to get to understand the finest
workings of any model, it allowed us to have an interesting perspective on what really
constitutes the Swedish Model, and how it faces actual challenges like the economic crisis, in
the perspective to get a deeper understanding of how our own model works, and what we
could learn from each other.
Talking with Swedish people, we found most of them were sharing a strong sense of
living in a society with a very identified and successful model. But what is effectively
constitutive of that model everybody seems to be aware of living in?
During this week of observations and lectures about the Swedish economy and
society, we tried to get through different types of questions. First of all, we wanted to really
understand the workings of that model, by for instance, comparing it to another Scandinavian
country like Denmark. Then, we focused on two particular aspects of it: professional gender
equality and immigration. Such a focus allowed us to point at a strong strength and at a very
questioning weakness of the model, which set the stage for a real debate on how the Swedish
Model could face the actual economic crisis. Eventually, stepping back on all those reflexions
and observations, we tried to understand the role played by national culture, versus the one
given to institutions in this model, to thing about the transferability of it to other countries
with different historical and economic backgrounds.
[...] It is the individual employer who is best placed to know what skills are required in the business and what recruitment needs exist. b. Basic requirements for labour immigration to Sweden A basic requirement for permission to immigrate to Sweden as an employee is that there is an offer of employment that will provide the immigrant with an adequate living. c. Substantially improved opportunities to obtain a permanent residence permit for work purposes Work permits will be granted for at most two years or the period of employment, if shorter. Permits will be open to extension on one or more occasions. [...]
[...] Sweden with its conciliatory ideals, social equality and liberal attitude is perfectly adapted to the task. Page 6 U N I V E R S I T É P A R I S 1 P A N T H É O N - S O R B O N N E II. PROFESSIONAL GENDER EQUALITY IN SWEDEN Nowadays, Sweden is among the most advanced countries on the matter of gender equality: for instance, the gender equality topic is integrated in almost all political institutions. [...]
[...] The agreements (one by division) are about a double drop on salaries and working hours. E.g : In the Powertrain division in Koeping, Volvo has reached an agreement to reduce working hours and lower salaries for employees at its Powertrain unit, in a bid to avoid redundancies. "With a reduction in work hours, we can sustain operations at an adjusted cost level, retain expertise in the company and increase the pace of production more rapidly when the turnaround occurs." said Peter Karlsten, president of Volvo Powertrain. [...]
[...] Trade Unions are against a borders opening to economical immigration. They consider that it is more important to improve the integration of actual economic migrants. They think than an opening of borders will increase precarious employment and destabilized the labour market due to lower cost of migrants. According to them, it would be better to take care of current migrants which are not fully integrated and use migrants unemployed. Trade Unions wants protectionism at least until the labour market will be permanently stabilized. [...]
[...] The model differs from country to country; in countries like Sweden, job regulation is relatively high and it is difficult to be fired, and in other like Denmark, a flexible system of easy firing and hiring has been practiced (see below). The equality of the Nordic model is achieved through higher taxation of the greatest earners within the nation. As a result of the policy, Sweden, Denmark and Norway have the lowest income disparity in the world, though critics argue that this may have reduced productivity. The Nordic model is generally more decentralized than the continental model, focusing more on local governance. [...]
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