The Welfare State on the international Perspective

Wednesday, 16. October 2013 | 12:15 Uhr


Ewa Björling


Minister of Trade, Stockholm


Swedish Trade Minister Eva Björling demonstrated how Sweden, known as a generous welfare state, noticeably realigned its services.
The starting point was the profound economic crisis and the necessity of returning to a balanced state budget. On the one hand, additional jobs had to be created, and on the other hand, more companies had to be attracted; this was achieved through tax cuts. The state’s deficit was thus reduced from 84% of gross domestic product in 1996 to 49% in 2011.
The reforms also affected unemployment insurance: by lowering unemployment benefits, the unemployed people’s incentive for quickly finding a new job was increased. Moreover, taxes were lowered further for companies that intentionally employ the very young or employees over the age of 65. However, there are no silver bullets. In light of the increasing number of people of 100 years of age, maintaining the welfare state remains a constant challenge. Each country must find its own way.
In order to counteract the aging of the population, Sweden relies on immigration. On average, the immigrants are relatively young. Sweden gains some considerable advantages from immigration. Find out what they are in Ewa Björling’s video.

Ewa Björling

1987 University Degree in Dental Surgery, Karolinska Institute
1988 Registered Dental Surgeon
1993 PhD (Medicine), Karolinska Institutet
1999 Associate Professor, Karolinska Institutet
2007- Minister for Trade

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