Migration conference in Tallinn discusses integration of refugees ({{commentsTotal}})

A Syrian family eats at their room at "Spree Hotel", an accommodation for migrants in Bautzen, Germany, Mar. 22, 2016. Source: (REUTERS/Ina Fassbender)

A Nordic-Baltic migration conference in Tallinn on Thursday and Friday will discuss how to best handle the challenges related to immigration and the refugee crisis in the region.

The main topics of the conference are immigration and how to deal with new arrivals in detail, including the initial adaptation process and long-term integration. Attending experts and officials will share their experiences in these matters, covering the whole process from documentation to accommodation and work, and including special cases such as war orphans. This also includes working with the local population in terms of explaining the situation to them and making it easier to accept the immigrants.

"The migration crisis is strongly affecting the mainstay of cooperation among the Nordic countries: the free movement of people, services and knowledge. Up till now, all five Nordic countries have employed different policies for immigration and refugees, but the extensive migration crisis has driven the countries to try and find common solutions," the head of the office of the Nordic Council of Ministers in Estonia, Christer Haglund, said in a press release.

The Nordic Council consists of Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. It has secretariats in the autonomous territories of Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Åland. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania sit as observer states.

On the first day of the conference, scientists and experts will examine in more general terms the effect of place of residence, work, and family life on integration. They will also examine how to speed up the process of entry of beneficiaries of international protection to the job market, and how the migration crisis affects the Nordic welfare model as practiced by Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland, characterized by equal treatment of all people.

The second day of the conference will focus on the role of the national and municipal authorities in the acceptance of people who have been granted international protection.

The conference will be opened by Minister of Foreign Affairs Marina Kaljurand (independent) and Norwegian Minister for European Economic Area and European Union Affairs, Elisabeth Aspaker.

The series of migration conferences was called into being by the office of the Nordic Council of Ministers in Estonia in collaboration with the University of Tartu in 2013. This year, the national contact point of the European Migration Network joined as a third organizer.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

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