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Jonas Gahr Støre klemmer flyktningbarn.

Much greater desire to resettle refugees now than in 2015 – NRK Norway – An overview of news from different parts of the country

In 2015, war broke out in Syria, and many risked their lives fleeing across the Mediterranean on their way to a safer life in Europe. Among those who came to Norway that year was the Kurdish Dilovan Al-Hussein.

Dilovan Al-Hussein came to Norway in 2015 and can apply for citizenship this year. He has little confidence that he will return to Syria, where the crisis is not over.

Photo: Lars Håkon Pedersen / NRK

– I had some family members here, and then I heard that Norway was one of the best countries, with freedom of expression and security, with less racism and above all an idea of ​​the future and education, he says.

Now he is ready to apply for citizenship. But the Norwegian municipalities were not as eager to receive refugees upon Delovan’s arrival, as they are today.

In 2015, NRK asked all of the country’s mayors how willing they were to settle refugees. We did the same when the war in Ukraine started.

The two surveys showed that there is much more openness to resettling 35,000 Ukrainians now than there was to settling 10,000 refugees in 2015:

At the same time, there is a greater desire to envision a settlement of up to 100,000 Ukrainians than was the case for the settlement of 10,000 refugees from other regions in 2015.

Mayors were also asked how they thought such a settlement would affect residents’ attitudes toward immigrants and refugees in the municipality.

The answers here showed that there is a much greater belief that the resettlement of Ukrainian refugees will create a positive attitude towards refugees and immigrants.

Today, the Norwegian authorities plan to receive arrivals from Ukraine for up to 60 thousand people.

Two important reasons for the difference

When the refugees came in large numbers in 2015, the municipalities built a reception and integration apparatus and were trained to receive many in a short time.

This is one of two reasons Norwegian municipalities are now more positive about opening the doors wide for Ukrainian refugees, says sociologist and migration researcher at the Department of Social Research, Jan-Paul Brekke.

Jean Paul Brique

Sociologist and researcher Jean-Paul Brecchi believes that the experience from 2015 and the apparent influx of refugees now mean that municipalities have no doubts about accepting many.

I think it is because you see that these are the people who need protection, and that the vulnerable groups come first. There is a clear need for help. Then there was the emergency since 2015, and the municipalities were willing to accept more than they were allowed to settle. This means that a need and an emergency meet each other, says Breck.

In 2015, there was also a change in mood as the year went on. It had to do with the fact that there was a lot of pressure on countries, and the mass of refugees wasn’t as obvious as it is now. Consequently, willingness to help declined, Breck believes.

– It was more unclear who came from Syria, Afghanistan and other countries. This time it is very clear which group will come.

Three municipalities to settle many now

In Grimstad in Agder She is Beate Skretting of the conservative mayor. They have now been asked to settle 150 refugees. It confirms what the researcher says about the 2015 experience.

Beat Skating

In Grimstad, Conservative Mayor Pyat Skritting believes they have learned a lot after the 2015 crisis and are ready to accept new refugees.

Photo: Tor Erik Schrøder / NTB

What we lived then gave much learning, especially in receiving so many in such a short time. She explains that we have a good refugee service and we did a good job of integrating.

She also thinks that the atmosphere is good among the people of Grimstad

– Among other things, we asked for furniture for refugee housing, then there was a good response. Skriting says there are also many who would like to be volunteers and create meeting places for refugees.

In the municipality of Sola in Rogaland He is Tom Henning Sylthe of the Progress Party. They were asked to settle 110 refugees from Ukraine.

Tom Henning Sylthe (Frp) is the mayor of Sula.

Tom Henning Slethei (Frp) is the mayor of Sula, and he believes that the Ukraine war obliges us to take in many refugees. He reflected the crisis of 2015, when his party wanted to help in the immediate vicinity of the war.

Photo: Erik Waage/NRK

Shelthey has no doubt that the situation in Ukraine qualifies to open the gates to Norway.

– That’s one of the things that FRP has meant all along, that it’s important to help those in the surroundings. What most people feel is that this is close, and a threat to democracy and the whole of Europe.

He rejects that the openness to refugees now compared to 2015 has anything to do with culture or religion.

Neither the Muslim nor the religion is decisive. It’s close, it’s well planted in the FRP party program.

small mountain municipality of Skjåk In the interior, with a population of two thousand, there are already 111 immigrants from 21 countries. They are now being asked to settle 15 Ukrainians.

edel kevin

Edel Kveen is the mayor of the Center Party in the mountain village of Skjåk. It will accept refugees, no matter what country they come from.

Photo: Skjåk . Municipality

Mayor Edel Kevin of the Center Party feels it is a duty to help those who want to come to Norway.

– This applies regardless of whether it is Ukraine or Sudan, we must help those fleeing. We have good experience with those who lived here before, they are well integrated. The only thing, she says, is that they often move from the municipality when they continue their education or receive a higher education.

Cow in Skjåk

Fjellbygda Skjåk at the top of Ottadalen can provide nature and cow grazing for the refugees who come there.

Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB scanpix

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