The Inter-parliamentary Conference on Asylum and Immigration Issues provides a platform for discussion on the present state and the future of European migration and asylum policy.
The Tampere agenda was approved twenty years ago during Finland’s first presidency of the Council of the European Union. One of the goals was the establishment of the Common European Asylum system. Over the past years, legislative action towards this goal has taken the form of directives. There remain, however, many discrepancies in the standards and practices of the different Member States.
Since 2015, migratory pressure on Europe’s external borders has increased in the form of migration from the Middle East and from Africa across the Mediterranean Sea. In response, the Commission has presented urgent legislative proposals to create a Common European Asylum System. However, in 2019, the proposals for Regulations are still under consideration.
It thus seems useful to meet at the parliamentary level to discuss the present state of migration and asylum policies and the measures that need to be taken. Developing a uniform European migration and asylum policy is essential not only for the Member States but also for the European Union and its future. At the same time, it is important to assess the migratory pressures of the upcoming decades and how to respond to them.
Monday, 9 September 2019(Pikkuparlamentti, Arkadiankatu 3)8.30-8.45 Opening of the ConferenceMr Juho Eerola, Deputy Speaker of the Finnish Parliament
Chair of the Administration Committee Ms Riikka Purra
The population of Africa continues to increase rapidly. It is estimated that by 2050, the population will double and reach 2.5 billion. The increase in the working-age population in Africa will account for over half of the number globally. In addition to the effects of population growth, the diverse continent will have to face challenges related to climate change, poverty, different conflicts and the lack of democracy.
The objective is to have a comprehensive approach to controlling migration in the long term, all the way until 2050. This requires getting to the root of the problem in Africa and in the Middle East and strengthening the role of redeployment as an important tool in solving it. It is important to focus on preventative measures in regions of origin and transit to decrease illegal immigration at the outer borders of the European Union.
It is also important to estimate what the content and the role of common asylum and immigration policy will be in the next decades. For the future of Europe, another significant question is how the citizens and Member States will see this whole complex of issues and what kind of an effect these factors will have within and between the Member States.
Immigration and asylum policy from the point of view of the coming decades
Migration flow pressures and how to affect them
What’s the role of the common asylum policy for the EU and for its future?
Chair: Ms Riikka Purra Chair of the Administration Committee
9.00 – 9.45 Presentations by
Mr Henrik Nielsen, Head of Unit for Asylum, Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission
Mr Ola Henrikson, Regional Director of IOM’s Regional Office for the EU, Norway and Switzerland.
Mr Ilkka Salmi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Interior
9.45 – 11.00 Exchange of views
11.00 – 11.30 Family photo & coffee break
11.30 – 13.45 Session II – EU Approach on Migration and Asylum - from Policy to Practice
As of yet, there is no truly common asylum procedure in the European Union. As a result of the events of 2015, the Commission has suggested the creation of a Common European Asylum System (CEAS). Some of the central goals of today and the near future include creating a common and binding asylum policy and implementing it consistently, developing a return policy and carrying it out effectively. It is essential to have clear regulations on how to choose the country in charge of handling the asylum applications and to implement an effective and durable mechanism to support the country under migratory pressure. Other important issues include granting international protection to those in actual need and returning rejected asylum-seekers to their countries of origin.
From Tampere to Helsinki in 20 years – has the EU attained a common asylum system? (Theory and practice)
The current state of working for CEAS. How to achieve results?
Divided opinions in the political fields of the EU member countries
Chair: Riikka Purra, Chair of the Administration Committee
11.30 – 12.15 Presentations by:
Mr Jamil Addou, Principal Head of Department, EASO
Mr Markku Hassinen, Rear Admiral, Chief of Operations
Ms Jaana Vuorio, Director General, Finnish Immigration Service
12.15 – 13.45 Exchange of views
13.45 – 14.00 Closing remarks by Ms. Riikka Purra, Chair of the Administration Committee