Minister Pär Stenbäck from Finland participated as guest speaker in Germia Hill Conference “The Security Architecture of South East Europe in light of Wider Global Challenges” on 2–3 February in Pristina.
Migration flows in Europe was one of the specific themes of the conference. Migration flows have made Europe to consider, for instance, strengthening border control and even closing its borders. Stenbäck reminded of the positive experiences of the Nordic Passport Convention concerning the waiver of passport control at the Intra-Nordic frontiers from the Nordic countries' citizens. The Convention was made already in 1957, about 50 years before the Schengen agreement.
The migration flows during last year have put Europe and Nordic countries in a new unpredictable situation. In 2015 Finland received over 33,000 asylum seekers which is a tenfold number compared to the previous year. Per capita Finland was in the fourth place of the European countries in the amount of asylum seekers received.
How to meet successfully the challenges that migration flows are causing to European unity?
"More integration to Europe", answered Stenbäck. "The European Union has managed integrating large groups of immigrants even before", said Stenbäck. The migration flows are expected to be a permanent global phenomenon. Stenbäck also stated that in Europe we still do not fully understand all the connections between the root causes of migration and the migration flows.
Stenbäck looks positively forward for Europe solving the challenges rising from migration flows.