The Nordic societies are increasingly multicultural and the number of the population with foreign background is on the rise.
Naturalisation is often viewed as “the last step” of the integration process where a person is granted the citizenship of their host country. This year, the 3rd annual ReNEW conference takes place 6-8 March, in Copenhagen and focuses on global challenges and Nordic solutions, discussing also migration and integration in the Nordics.
According to a Eurostat study, Sweden is leading among the Nordics, with more than 18% of the population being born outside of its borders and research from 2016 conducted by Nordregio showed that Sweden and Finland are front-runners when it comes to naturalisation rates. But, there are clear disparities among Nordic countries regarding this process and these might be caused by the differences in requirements. For example: Sweden is the only Nordic country that does not require language skills when applying for citizenship, the duration of residence also varies, in Sweden and Finland it being the shortest – five years, while in Denmark, a foreign-born person has to live for nine years before being able to become a citizen. Furthermore, Denmark has passed a law that requires all people applying for citizenship to shake hands with officials during the naturalisation ceremony.
ReNEW, which stands for Reimagining Norden in an evolving world, hosts panels on topics that are extremely relevant in the current climate, such as: Nordic cooperation and region building, democracy and governance, public policy, gender equality, multiculturalism, education and other ones. Nordregio Senior Research Fellow, Anna Karlsdottir, will be facilitating the panel on Nordic variation when it comes to the integration of refugees and migrants. Anna will also offer a presentation regarding the naturalisation process and citizenship policies and their particularities across the Nordic countries, based on findings from research conducted by Nordregio Senior Research Fellows Nora Sánchez Gassen and Tim Heleniak.