Kalle Palling, the head of European Union Affairs Committee of Estonian Parliament, said that Finland has been very flexible and efficient in its refugee policy and Estonia can learn from the experience.
“Most of the arguments that spread among the Estonian public, depict refugees as just a financial burden for the country and do not take into account our low birth rate, shortage of labor force and aging population,” said Palling, a Reform Party MP.
Palling and the rest of the Parliament's committee are on a working visit to Helsinki, meeting their Finnish colleagues at Eduskunta (Finnish Parliament) and aiming to learn from the Finnish experience on how to shape refugee policy.
“The experience of Finland could be useful to Estonia. For example, nearly 11,000 asylum seekers entered Finland in September. It calculates almost as many asylum seekers per one Finnish inhabitant as in Germany and Sweden,” Palling added.
Finland is ready to receive 2,400 asylum seekers during the next two years, while supporting the voluntary principle of receiving refugees, rather than EU-imposed quotas.
Estonia has agreed to accept at least 500 people over the next two years as part of EU wide resettlement deal, but the number could be as high as 600.
Editor: S. Tambur