Kai Mykkänen (NCP) shed light on his views on immigration and asylum seekers in his first press conference as the Minister of the Interior in Helsinki on Tuesday.
He revealed that he is humbled to have the opportunity to tackle one of the most important issues of this generation: the question of “how immigration and changes in the security environment in Europe are visible in Finland”.
Mykkänen estimated that the fact that some 10,000 unsuccessful asylum seekers are currently residing in reception centres is one of the acute challenges faced by the country. “How do we face them humanely, as persons, while making sure that we don’t create a divide between legal and illegal residents in Finland,” he explained.
He also drew attention to the importance of not only attracting foreign skilled workers but also guaranteeing the successful integration of all legal immigrants in Finland.
The issue, he viewed, extends far beyond the quantitative treatment of asylum seekers – onto the psychological climate in Finland and whether Finland is perceived as an international or an insular country.
He stressed that the country must continue its efforts to become the safest country in the world while also fostering openness and internationalisation.
His predecessor as the Minister of the Interior, Paula Risikko (NCP), was elected as the Speaker of the Parliament on Monday. Mykkänen, in turn, handed over his duties as the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development to Anne-Mari Virolainen (NCP).
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi