The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, in close cooperation with the Icelandic Presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and the CBSS Secretariat are organising a conference on Soft Security and Migration in the Baltic Sea Region on 30-31 May 2017.
The conference – taking place in Helsinki, Finland – focuses on discussing the impact and lessons learned from managing the migratory flows in 2015-2016 in the Baltic Sea Region. Statistics outline that the number of asylum applications submitted in several CBSS countries was record high in 2015. Even though the numbers of migrants entering the region decreased significantly in 2016, the situation has posed different challenges for the national authorities dealing with border controls, security issues, reception of migrants, identification of victims of trafficking, and integration policy, among others. In the aftermath of the situation, it is important to reflect experiences and lessons learned. Following the soft security approach enhanced efforts are needed to build and maintain a system of institutions and practices founded on dialogue, shared values and promotion of social inclusion and integration of migrants in all aspects and parts of the receiving society.
The purpose of the conference is hence threefold: It is up for discussion how a holistic approach in regards to migratory challenges can be improved, especially when focusing on transnational and cross-sectorial cooperation and capacity building. Secondly, the most important challenges and bottlenecks in migration management and early integration of migrants need to be identified. In connection to this, best practices with focus on proactive measures, building trust and enhancing dialogue between authorities, migrants and the society as a whole will be presented during the conference. Finally, the conference will discuss what can be done to better address the complex situation of migrants, particularly of groups such as undocumented migrants, asylum seekers waiting for the final decision, victims of trafficking and exploitation.
Please find more information here.