Europe should shift its focus away from the asylum system towards the refugee quota scheme, says Kai Mykkänen (NCP), the Minister of the Interior.
Although the continent has registered a notable decrease in the number of asylum applications since the second half of 2015, Mykkänen estimates that population growth in Africa will guarantee that the notion of migrating to Europe will continue to appeal to “hundreds of millions” for the foreseeable future.
The United Nations in 2013 predicted that Africa’s population would double to 2.4 billion by 2050 and continue growing to 4.2 billion by 2100.
“Unfortunately there’s no scenario in sight where the share of the middle-class grew so rapidly that it’d significantly reduce the number of people seeking a way out of the countries as the population growth continues,” comments Mykkänen.
He adds that the equation also presents a series of challenges for the immigration and asylum system of Finland.
“We can’t have residence-based social security simultaneously to uncontrolled immigration,” he states, drawing attention to the importance of bringing migrant flows under control.
Mykkänen has previously proposed that Finland raise its refugee quota ten-fold to 10,000 refugees in a bid to shift away from the asylum system towards the quota scheme, which he believes is the better-controlled alternative.
He has also called for a discussion for a common system for the European Union, which would allow authorities to determine whether or not an applicant is in need of protection at processing centres before the applicant’s arrival in Europe. Such a system, he views, could also allow those who cannot afford the fees charged by human smugglers to seek international protection.
“Asylum seekers certainly include people who are in need of protection and certainly also those who aren’t facing any personal threats or persecution,” says Mykkänen.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi