IOM chief commends Estonia's integration plan

Refugees in an Estonian language class in Vao. Photo is illustrative.
Refugees in an Estonian language class in Vao. Photo is illustrative. Source: (Priit Simson/Delfi)

In a meeting with Estonia's Minister of the Interior Andres Anvelt in Tallinn on Friday, the director general of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) commended the practical processes of accepting refugees that has been introduced in Estonia.

"It is encouraging to hear of Estonia's plans and the work that has been done in accepting refugees," IOM Director General William L. Swing was quoted by Ministry of the Interior as saying. "This sounds like a good integration program — language training, home, work."

Topics discussed at the meeting also included Estonia's priorities for its upcoming presidency of the EU and the state of affairs concerning relocation and resettlement in Estonia.

"During the EU presidency, Estonia will continue the current presidency holder Malta's aspirations towards a joint European asylum system as the only way to solve the migration crisis is a joint approach by European countries toward migration policy," Anvelt said. "This also means dealing with the underlying causes for migration and cooperation with countries of origin."

Anvelt said that the IOM has a big role to play in Estonia's successes regarding relocation and resettlement. Cooperation with Greece and Turkey has been strong and Estonia is also cooperating with regard to implementing an adaptation and return program.

To date, Estonia has relocated 130 people from Greece and resettled 20 people from Turkey, and is prepared within the framework of the EU Agenda on Migration to resettle and relocate a total of 550 people within a period of two years.

Established in 1951, the IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration, which helps countries to manage issues related to migration. It is a tradition for the director general of the IOM to visit the upcoming EU presidency holder and offer them suggestions on how to deal with migration issues. Swing is also scheduled to give a public lecture at the University of Tallinn and meet with the foreign minister of Estonia and members of the parliament's foreign affairs committee.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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