Speaking to university students and journalists in the city of Uppsala, Stefan Lofven described the checks as a “necessary evil” and vowed to work with EU members to address the migration policy concerns that continue to surface across Europe.
He said: “As long as we have not got a functioning system in the EU, and as long as order and security can not be guaranteed, border controls will not disappear in Europe.”
Under the Schengen Agreement, systematic internal border checks are banned in the 26-nation passport-free travel area.
However, after more than a million migrants entered Europe in 2016, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Germany and non-EU member Norway were given permission to introduce border checks amid security concerns.
Mr Lofven said he was “prepared to compromise” in the discussions currently underway about an EU-wide migration policy.
He suggested those countries who fail to take in their fair share of migrants ought to lose financial support.
Despite concerns about the EU’s migrant policy, the prime minister said plans for Sweden to leave the bloc are “not on the table at all”.
He said: “The conclusion for me can only be the following: those of us who have political responsibility for Europe must shoulder that responsibility and give a better response to the challenges of the day.
“Now we don’t need big new projects. Changing the EU’s treaty doesn’t solve any problems. Instead, we should focus on the important, fundamental questions where the EU gives us an added value.”
Mr Lofven said he would let the people of Sweden decide whether or not the country should join the euro, but that the government would carefully examine the question of whether to join the EU Banking Union.
He also emphasised the importance of a good relationship with Britain after Brexit.
Last week, the Swedish government called on the Kommerskollegium, Sweden’s national trade board, to draw up a report detailing Swedish trade interests in European Union (EU) Brexit negotiations with the UK.
Ann Linde, Sweden’s EU and trade minister, said: “In order to be ready for forthcoming negotiations, the government is currently calling on the Kommerskollegium to draw up a basis for Swedish trade interests in the EU’s negotiations with the UK about a new trade relationship after Brexit.”