On Thursday, the delegation of the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) is on a working visit to Helsinki. The purpose of the visit is to exchange experience with the colleagues from Eduskunta (Parliament of Finland) about the shaping of refugee policy and to promote cooperation between the two countries.
In the opinion of the Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee Kalle Palling, Finland has been very flexible and efficient in receiving refugees. “As most of the arguments that spread among the Estonian public depict the refugees as just a source of expenditure and do not take into account our low birth rate, shortage of labour force and ageing population, the experience of Finland could be useful to Estonia,” Palling said.
“In September, nearly 11,000 asylum seekers entered Finland. It makes almost as many asylum seekers per one inhabitant of the country as in Germany and Sweden,” Palling added.
Within the framework of the European Commission’s new agenda on migration, Finland is ready to receive 2400 asylum seekers during the next two years. At the same time Finland supports the principle of voluntarism in receiving refugees.
Besides getting an overview of the refugee policy, the delegation of the European Union Affairs Committee plans to meet with the representatives of the Ministry of Economy of Finland in order to discuss cooperation in energy sector, the agreement between Estonia and Finland on the construction of the LNG terminal, and the issues connected with the development of the Balticconnector project.
The delegation of the European Union Affairs Committee consists of the Chairman of the Committee Kalle Palling and members of the Committee Monika Haukanõmm, Marianne Mikko, Juhan Parts, Aivar Sõerd and Toomas Vitsut.
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