The BSPC Working Group on Migration and Integration held its third meeting on the premises of the Danish Parliament on 21 June. Delegations from the Baltic Assembly, Nordic Council, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hamburg, Latvia, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Norway, Poland, Russia, Schleswig-Holstein and Sweden participated in the meeting. Chaired by Pyry Niemi, Member of the Swedish Parliament, the Working Group discussed expert presentations, results of an intergovernmental survey, possible recommendations for the resolution of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference and possible contents of a Midway Report.
Migration, Research, and Human Mobility: Myths and Realities
The meeting was provided with a very informative expert introductory presentation by Ms Ninna Nyberg Sørenson, research coordinator and senior researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) on Migration, Research and Policy Dialogue. She informed about the work of the institute and referred to some of its current research reports.
Ms Sørenson pointed out that a main role for research was questioning some of the political assumptions taken for granted, underlying the policies implemented. Considering what had been called since 2015 the unprecedented migration crisis, she appreciated that the raw numbers were unmatched at any point in history. Current estimates were that there were 244 million (including refugees) international migrants globally (or 3.3% of the world’s population). While the vast majority of people in the world continued to live in the country in which they were born, more people were migrating to other countries, especially those within their region. Many others were migrating to high-income countries that are further afield. Work was the major reason that people migrated internationally, and migrant workers constituted a large majority of the world’s international migrants, with most living in high-income countries and many engaged in the service sector. Global displacement was at a record high, with the number of internally displaced at over 40 million and the number of refugees more than 22 million. (IOM World Migration Report 2018). Taking the historical perspective, the historical migrations out of Europe were larger when one considered the respective percentages of the population. It could also be seen that recent history had seen higher percentages of migrants among the global population, such as the 1960s and the 1990s, than in the recent crisis, reaching a little above 3 per cent of the total population. As a matter of fact, migration and refugee flows were changing over time, she noted, mimicking a wave motion.
She posed the question whether migration was out of control again, what control itself was, and which control mechanisms were put in place. Furthermore, she asked if some political measures already in place could be contributing to pushing migration out of control. As an example, she mentioned an analysis conducted by her institute on the European agreement with Turkey where the latter country had taken on the role of a European border guard. The result was that the agreement worked. Regarding stemming a migration flow, she pointed out that such an agreement was very effective. But when security concerns were taken into consideration, as well as human rights and other concerns, questions could reasonably be asked about the long-term implications of that kind of deal.
As for reasons why people migrate, Ms Sørenson noted that it would be better to inquire how and when people were migrating. Many more people than the three per cent of the population – most of whom were westerners, she mentioned as an aside – were thinking about moving between countries but were not doing so due to barriers between countries that sometimes were not conducive to other forms of policies, be these trade policies or labour policies or filling particular labour markets. Posing the right questions might be the important aspect.
Ms Sørenson considered the various types of migrations, noting that they were all subject to the global media discussion which sometimes inflated contexts. So, it was important to agree on the terms used. In general, every mobile person was a migrant, e.g. moving from the countryside to the city, but of concern in this context were international migrants, such as people moving abroad for work for more than twelve months. These were economic migrants, also including international students or reunited families. Another group was posed by asylum-seekers, i.e. people who were fleeing for fear of persecution or their lives but had not yet gained refugee status. When asylum claims were accepted, that person would gain certain social rights. Ms Sørenson pointed out that 86 per cent of global refugees were in developing countries, so these kinds of rights might be questionable; she raised the question if, in that regard, the international system was effective in offering adequate asylum conditions.
Most of today’s refugees were actually internally displaced persons rather than international refugees. So, the largest problems were in conflict areas. She noted another category, that of climate or environmental refugees, such as people fleeing catastrophes or slow climate change onset in their lives. This was an area with enormous political interest, but it was again an area with a lot of uncertainties involved. The estimates of how environmental change would influence future refugee flows, Ms Sørenson stated, were quite uncertain. Estimates were varying tremendously. Looking back historically at past climate change, migration had always been an adaptive strategy to such change. Accordingly, the analysis should include how migration could be a positive factor on climate and environmental policies.
Migration research, Ms Sørenson went on, had a long history. Migration had been generally considered a positive influence as migrants had contributed to the development of the countries to which they had come, but they had also sent back goods and financial resources to their homes. Migrants had also contributed to the democratization of Europe, finding new ways of thinking about politics in foreign destinations. In that theoretical framework, migrants were usually understood as someone who, of their own free will, made the decision to migrate. It was a free choice in those theories, allowing the migrants active agency, to do something to improve their own and their family’s economic situations.
Refugee studies as an academic discipline on the other hand had a much shorter history. It was a post-World War II academic field. She underlined that the common idea of refugees saw them as lacking agency, as persons without any choice, so that they deserved – if they lived up to conventions – to be protected. But the present kinds of protection, she noted, often did not leave open e.g. access to the labour market, to education and so on. These were the actual pathways for refugees to better their own situations.
Ms Sørenson said that these theoretical implications were important for how foreign nationals were handled in the migration and refugee systems. The same applied to the labour market systems. She introduced an analytical framework developed by DIIS to understand current global migration flows, called “migration industrial analysis”. To be underlined was that in most policy debates, there was much talk of the so-called migration facilitation industry, especially the human smugglers and traffickers, which was what policies were combating, unless these industry actors were labour recruiters bringing in needed labour. Another industry much larger in terms of global earnings was the migration control industry which over the past 20 years had developed enormously. It encompassed security firms which, also in the European Union, were conducting security analyses of which kinds of border control measures were needed. These companies also sold their ideas as well as techniques required to control borders. Countries and the European Union were using this industry to secure their borders, but they were also outsourcing and externalising parts of their politics to some of these control actors. The final industry in this regard was what the institute had termed the rescue industry, i.e. the NGOs and the faith-based organizations, the humanitarian actors intervening. These were important because states were more and more outsourcing traditional state functions to civil society actors, be that handling asylum centres or assisting refugees upon return.
With the goal of understanding migration issues more broadly, as was often the case in discussions of these issues, Ms Sørenson stated her view that all these actors had to be seen in how they were influencing each other and how this outsourcing of political control to private actors might actually intervene in policies.
She expressed her hope that the BSPC and DIIS could collaborate in the future.
The Working Group had already discussed in Hamburg common questions to be sent by each delegation to their respective governments. This way, the Working Group wanted to obtain a better survey regarding the situation in the whole region, learn from best practise examples and develop proposals to improve cooperation in the integration of migrants. The BSPC Vice- President and WG Vice-chair Carola Veit had summarised the questions and developed a list to be sent to the governments as homework assignments. Ms Veitpresented the summary of answers delivered by the governments with regard to the Migration and Integration issue in respective countries and regions.
She started with demographics and pointed out that the submitted numbers had shown significant variation in type, allowing only a few demographic comparisons. The homework assignment had only requested numbers concerning migration. While that might have been too unspecific, the numbers still presented a basis for investigation. Ms Veit noted that, on the regional level, about a third of the inhabitants of Åland and Hamburg were migrants. In Hamburg, half the population of minors had migration backgrounds.
She considered the percentage of people with a migration background within each age range: The largest age group were the 26- to 40-year-olds, except for Lithuania where the age group between 51 and 64 dominated, followed by the over 65-year-olds. This could perhaps be informative on the reasons for migration. For example, comparing Hamburg to Åland, the under 25-year-olds comprised a much larger group in the former than in the latter region. On the other hand, Åland had a greater proportion of over 25-year-olds of this grouping. That indicated at which time these migrants had arrived in the respective regions.
Ms Veit further stated that each country in the Baltic Sea region had its own set of immigration, asylum or aliens laws which were included in the rules of immigration. Ms Veit mentioned a few examples: Germany had both a residence as well as an integration act; Lithuania had referred to a law on the legal status of aliens; for its immigration law, Poland had included a two-tier administrative procedure, the protection of the national work force, and the future possibility to determine how many people were admitted into the country.
Another topic of the survey had been the requirements for requesting asylum. The criteria were defined in the previously mentioned laws of the respective countries. Due to the Geneva Convention or the conventions and international agreements on refugees adopted by such nations, there were some similarities. In EU countries, European-level initiatives also provided some more streamlining and similarities. For example, Sweden had listed as reasons for asylum the death penalty, torture, internal armed conflict as well as environmental disasters. Like Estonia, it also included the topic of stateless persons here. Germany concentrated on serious harm, concrete danger to life, discrimination, violence of international law, and internal armed conflict. Some other exceptions were mentioned in Norway where the right to be recognized as a refugee did not apply if the foreign national could obtain effective protection in other areas of his or her country of origin than the area from which the applicant had fled. In Latvia, a person might not apply for refugee status if he or she was a national of more than one country and did not use legal protection in any of the other countries without justifying reason.
Regarding dual citizenship, there were different answers: Sweden allowed additional dual citizenships, while Norway was preparing for such a regulation. In Lithuania and Estonia, one might acquire a citizenship by grant of refugee status or if he or she was a beneficiary of international protection granted by Estonia or any other EU member state. Of interest were the different principles allowing exceptions. Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Poland, and Latvia by law allowed dual citizenships, defining the requirements by certain rules listed in the materials. These countries had originally not accepted multiple citizenships. Germany had indicated that “multiple citizenship should be avoided”.
With regard to the topic of work permits, all responses, Ms Veit pointed out, had indicated that foreigners immigrating for economic reasons must be granted a work permit before entering the country. They were required to meet the labour market needs of the EU member states. Except for Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, and Germany, the answers to this question had not referred specifically to refugees and asylum-seekers. Germany had specified that people from so-called safe countries were prohibited from working.
All answers showed that advisory and legal services to foreigners, migrants, asylum-seekers, and refugees were differentiated by the status of the beneficiary. They existed to a certain extent in each country and region. Against this background, Ms Veit had chosen to highlight two best practise examples, i.e. Lithuania and Hamburg. In Lithuania, there were three foreign integration centres in Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipeda. They aimed to provide a “one-stop shop” for foreigners, to facilitate them with a wide range of services at one desk, so as to speed up the integration into society and the labour market. In Hamburg, apart from the reception centre, where new arrivals were registered and given medical examinations, a program had started in 2015, called W.I.R. (Work and Integration for Refugees), founded to help refugees in a holistic manner. The major concern was to integrate them into the labour market.
Regarding language instruction, in most of the countries and regions participating in the survey so far, there were language courses as well as courses for civic education, less often vocational training. Depending on their respective status, foreigners, refugees and asylum-seekers were commonly allowed to participate, and most of the countries offered the courses free of charge. Five countries to some degree obligated asylum-seekers to take part in the various integration courses offered by the authorities. In Poland, participation was exclusively voluntary.
Ms Veit moved on to the topic of benefits. Most of the participating countries had yielded comprehensive information about these, such as benefit payments, special requirements for eligibility to some benefits, the monthly subsistence for asylum-seekers in euros or the respective currencies and how this related to the national income. Nonetheless, Ms Veit conceded that comparison was very difficult. She mentioned one example: In 2015, the average taxable income in Finland was 28,000 € a year, i.e. approximately 2,300 € per month. When comparing the average income to the allowances for asylum-seekers, it had to be taken into account that the latter were provided at least with accommodation and necessary health and social services for free. Accordingly, that was difficult to compare, and it was up for discussion how deeply that should be investigated. For Lithuania, the official minimum wage was set at 380 € per month; the medium was 360 € per month; the monthly benefits for asylum-seekers were set at 10 per cent of the state-supported income amount.
Family reunification was the next aspect raised by Ms Veit. This part concentrated on family reunification for asylum-seekers and refugees. Every country granted family reunification to a certain extent, with some restrictions and narrative definitions of family. Her examples included: The immigration rules in Estonia aimed to support family migration; Estonia had transposed the family reunification directive for relevant asylum-seekers of the EU; beneficiaries of international protection could reunify their families. Latvia stated that a refugee or asylum-seeker, having resided in the country for at least 2 years, had the right to reunite with family members in foreign countries. An unaccompanied minor who had been granted international protection and was not married had the right to receive mother and father arriving from a foreign country. Since July 2016, there had been a temporary act in Sweden, limiting the rights of family reunifications for those who were eligible for subsidiary protection; the law would remain applicable until July 2019. The same applied to Germany. In Poland, marriage had to be recognised by Polish law, thus leaving out polygamous or same-sex marriages.
Regarding minors, the answers given showed that every country tried to do its best to support unaccompanied minors. All these matters, including best practise examples, should be discussed by the Working Group.
The next item concerned accommodation. The housing situation depended on the asylum-seeker’s respective status – asylum-seekers waiting for a decision, granted asylum, or an alternative status, an unaccompanied minor or a detained foreigner. Every country provided accommodation in some form to the migrants. Usually, asylum-seekers were first housed at reception facilities. In Germany, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Estonia, and Latvia, these were called transit centres or temporary accommodation, while Poland had settled on the name accommodation centres.
As for volunteers and the organization of their involvement, she said that civil society was playing a vital role in every country in the region. Its involvement was encouraged by the state or by NGOs. Voluntary work was supported through civil society, governments and other actors in the public sector. She mentioned best practise examples in Denmark, Germany and Sweden.
Ms Veit concluded that the responses and statements by the Baltic Sea Region governments in the BSPC Working Group’s survey were a good basis for further research.
Historical context of migration after WWII
Mr Veiko Spolitis, Member of the Latvian Parliament, in line with an agreement of the WG in Copenhagen, gave a speech on the historic context of migration after the Second World War. He pointed out that his presentation specifically considered the Baltic Sea region after the second world war because he was concerned why there were different perceptions on what migration was, what refugees were in Scandinavian countries, Finland, Germany, Poland, and the Baltic states.
These considerations formed the first part of his working paper, he said. His approach was to look at the reasons for these differences which were objectively real, before investigating the problems of the crises, such as wars. He agreed with Ms Sørenson that there was nothing extraordinary to what they were witnessing these days. He referred to the Yugoslavian wars in the 1990s and earlier, the second world war.
The problem of migration as seen from the Baltic perspective was very often muddled. Mr Spolitis had looked at two specific aspects as understood by common people on the street. These were economic migrants and refugees. Both were covered by the United Nations conventions, with very simple to understand definitions. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Migrants for example defined the migrant worker as a person who used to be engaged, is engaged or has been engaged in a remunerated activity in a state in which he or she is not a national. Refugees differed from these economic migrants because economic migration usually took place in a world governed by laws whereas refugees were left alone. Accordingly, there was a need for UNHCR, the Red Cross, and the Red Crescent – all these organizations helping those downtrodden people who had to flee their homes. The UN definition of the 1951 convention stated very specifically that a refugee was someone who had been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence. A refugee had a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Most likely, they could not return home or were afraid to do so. War and ethnic, tribal, religious violence were stated as the leading causes of refugees fleeing their countries.
Given such clear definitions, the question was why there were such different perceptions in the Baltic Sea area where most of the countries were members in the Schengen area, the EU, and NATO. It the Baltic Sea region, he considered such a development inevitable, since only one totalitarian regime had been abolished after the second world war, while another – the Soviet Union – had still stayed intact. Mr Spolitis cited an example for the different development: After World War II, twelve million Germans had had to be relocated back from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and so forth. However, Mr Spolitis went on, in Germany, in Scandinavian countries, in Finland, it had been possible to accept the migrations in a democratic way because there had been political parties, meetings, discussions, and what he considered most important: These nations had dealt with it as the current migration was handled, as shown by Ms Veit’s presentation, on the municipal level. When the refugees had been received, they had lived with the original inhabitants in the same municipalities. He stressed that municipalities had to have a say in these matters.
Differently, in the Soviet Union, which had occupied nations such as Poland and East Germany, the locals had no influence at all in these migration flows. People had simply come and gone, with the communist party dictating the rules all the way to 1975. At that point, the Helsinki Acts had finally implemented changes, and human rights had been admitted at the highest level of the CPSU in Moscow. That was the greatest difference, Mr Spolitis pointed out, why there was inertia stemming from the Soviet totalitarian past, that there was a certain perception what refugees meant and how to deal with them.
There was another very important detail in the reception of these millions of refugees. It had been rather easy for Germany to accept most of the Germans because they were speaking the same language, they were akin, so there had been no cultural clashes. Mr Spolitis noted that such clashes always occurred to some degree, but by and large, these had been the same European people who had been relocated because of war ravages. Moreover, they had also received help from such organizations as the Red Cross and the Red Crescent. In the Soviet Union, though, the Red Cross had unfortunately been forbidden from operating.
In a nutshell, Mr Spolitis summarised, these were the determining factors for the different cultures of receptivity towards migration that had developed. In Sweden, in Germany, in the Scandinavian countries as a total, these populations had been part of the development of economic boom after these relocations. They had learned the language, they had learned the skills, and then they could decide whether they wanted to stay in this newly adopted country or whether they wanted to relocate back. Accordingly, the waves of the Portuguese, the Italians, and afterwards the Yugoslavians and the Turkish ‘gastarbeiters’ (guest workers) – everything went well because they had been integrated into society. Political parties had been making decisions, and on the municipal level, they had been accepted. This had been part of the bargain, Mr Spolitis stated. Everyone had shared the same views on how to deal with this, whereas in Poland, or in the Baltic states, or in East Germany – considering the differences in public opinion -, that had never been the case, as everything had been decided by the communist party.
He next considered the end of the cold war when large numbers of economic migrants had moved from the Baltic states and Poland in particular to Ireland and Great Britain. These had also followed the same procedure, acquiring new skills and a new language. Important here was that it had been the European Union which had fostered this movement, because one of the three liberties of the European Union was free labour, next to free capital movement and a free market of goods and services. Aside from the free movement of labour, another focus was the convergence of policies. Such policies had been developed, particularly at the insistence of Germany – which could afford such and had been a driving force along with France -, that there would always be labour movement from the economic periphery. But with convergence policies working, it was possible to see that most Italian and Portuguese who had arrived in Germany in the 1950s had gone back to their native countries because their economic fortunes had risen.
The same had also applied to the Turkish population, despite the recent backlash because of the political situation in Turkey. For a while, greater numbers of Turkish people had moved back from Germany to Turkey rather than the opposite way. Nowadays, this movement had reversed.
Mr Spolitis also considered the causes of the current refugee crisis. Outlined in broad strokes, Mr Spolitis saw that, in light of global warming, natural disasters were accepted. Whenever there was a natural disaster, people were very receptive, regardless of the regime, to refugees. A man-made disaster, though, was a different affair. Such could be a technological disaster but also wars. Whenever there was a man-made disaster, Mr Spolitis pointed out, people started questioning the influx of refugees. In democracies, after all, there was a right to question.
Looking at what was happening in the Baltic Sea region over the past twenty-seven years, there had been a tremendous transformation in the Baltic states and Poland. Most of the work had dealt with making the living conditions acceptable to the population. People living in the Scandinavian countries and Germany, he noted, accepted the fact that they could build and plan their lives as something acceptable. For many countries in the world, Mr Spolitis stressed, this was a luxury. Coming back to your country to raise your children in peace, where you could make plans based on your annual income, where you could raise your children and send them to school, that was often something unattainable. Accordingly, a major policy goal for the Baltic states and Poland was to ensure that people would start coming back. Considering the trends for the last one-and-a-half years, that process had just started. People were beginning to trickle back from Ireland and Great Britain.
Basically, Mr Spolitis continued, post-war lessons had taught the European Union how to manage labour shortages, how to manage the reform of governance and education systems, and how to converge economies. These lessons could be applied both in a good or bad manner, depending on the political culture. But one thing could not be managed from within, namely external shocks or wars.
Mr Spolitis noted that it was often difficult to understand and grasp that Europeans could also work to end a war driving migration flows in the Baltic Sea region. At the moment, he mentioned, there were two such wars: the war in Ukraine and the war in Syria.
Since 2015, there had been media hype related to refugees, such as the reestablishment of the border between Sweden and Denmark, the still ongoing debate in Germany had even threatened the government, and there was the forty-fifth president of the United States intruding in the whole debate.
The bottom line, Mr Spolitis said, was that there were two million internally displaced persons in the Ukraine for example. There were also internally displaced persons in Russia, and two million had moved from the Ukraine into Poland. At the same time, these Ukrainians were an economic boon for the Polish economy – while representing a brain drain for the Ukraine. With that in mind, it had to be understood that war was never good. The only ones to profit off war were the immoral businessmen who were e.g. selling arms or shipping people.
Mr Spolitis accordingly also looked at the United Nations charter. He emphasised because, as he said, it was always good to look at the basic documents. Article 1 of the charter was very clear: ‘We have to maintain international peace and security to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principles of equal right and self-determination of peoples to achieve international cooperation and solving international problems and encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion. States must follow the basic principles as outlined in Article 2 of the Charter.’ Article 2, Mr Spolitis explained, clarified how this must be achieved. These basic documents had been written by people who had known that there could not be greater disasters than war. Out of the ravages of war, in San Francisco, in 1945 and in 1948 when the International Charter of Human Rights had been written, they had understood that peace must be kept. Therefore, he found Article 2 interesting, explaining explained how this peace had to be kept: ‘Nothing containing the present charter shall authorise the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the member states to matters or settlements under the present charter.’ He pointed out that this showed the embeddedness of the Security Council.
Therefore, having these principles of international law, it was possible to discuss this because the BSPC was an international organisation. War and the breaching of basic tenets of human rights was unacceptable behaviour in today’s European region, called one of the most prosperous, most open and most liberal regions. In 2015, uncontrolled migration had made headlines in many media, and it could be clearly said that the European public, including the media, had not been prepared in 2015, unlike in the 1990s, as could be seen from newspapers and other resources. Mr Spolitis said that Europeans had become complacent, that they had forgotten about these problems but had to be ready for them.
So, in 2015, it was learned that the Dublin directive of 2003 about asylum-seekers was defective. Without any international crisis, without war, the Dublin directive had managed migration pretty well. But it became problematic in a crisis where the flows of mass migration due to war were overwhelming the bordering areas. Mr Spolitis pointed out that the debate accusing Hungary had been pointless, and instead, the discussion should have dealt with the problems with the Dublin directive. He predicted that the Dublin III directive would fail again.
Accordingly, it was necessary to fix these matters on a fundamental level. As a historic note, Mr Spolitis said, in 1997, prior to the Amsterdam Treaty, there had been debate about following up on Maastricht and introducing a common migration policy. Unfortunately, at that time, Helmut Kohl had an agreement with Jacques Chirac but not the support of the German federal states in the Bundesrat. Therefore, a common migration policy had failed in 1997 because Helmut Kohl didn’t have the necessary support back home. As a result, Europeans now had to live with a defective system where politicians tried ad hocfixes here and there, with crises here and there. But, Mr Spolitis underlined, without a common migration policy, they were in the same position as they had been in 2015.
Coming to the conclusion of his presentation, Mr Spolitis said that they had been speaking about possible policy responses in this broad track of problems concerning perception, with an eye on the wars in their immediate neighbourhood – i.e. Ukraine and Syria. Equally of concern were economic migrants and their countries of origin, such as the Maghreb nations in northern Africa as well as Ethiopia and Eritrea, both with authoritarian regimes. All these matters had to be dealt with. Lacking a common migration policy, it wasn’t enough to strengthen Frontex and fix the Dublin directive because disagreements were rising in bordering areas, particularly Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, and Spain where the greatest pressure was experienced. Moreover, the Dublin directive stated quite directly that countries had to deal with these issues on their own merits. At the same time, in 27+ EU member states, there were different levels of understanding, different levels of reception, and different levels of remuneration, as Ms Veit had outlined by the example of the Baltic Sea area countries.
Therefore, possible policy responses had to first of all raise the awareness of these differences in our society. Mr Spolitis stated that it was the role of parliamentarians to go out and approach media and explain that the differences were due to specific, historic developments.
Second, he said, they should not be shy to resist political correctness and call facts and arguments by their own names.
The third response suggested by Mr Spolitis was that parliamentary assemblies – such as the BSPC itself – could appeal to the super-regional organizations, e.g. the Council of the Baltic Sea Countries, the Council of Baltic Cities, or the United Nations to raise awareness. Another possibility was to demand of the heads of states to also raise this issue during the General Assembly Meeting in September, if the group decided to do so and agreed on the goal. Regarding the previous discussion, it could be seen that this process could not continue and that impartiality was not acceptable.
Finally, but not least, a fourth proposal was that the BSPC as an organisation could coordinate information with like-minded super-regional organisations in this Baltic Sea area and jointly appeal to the European Council to continue work in order to establish a common EU migration policy.
The Working Group further discussed possible recommendations for the resolution of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference and possible contents of a Midway Report. In addition, the Working Group agreed to hold the next meeting in Kiel on 17 December 2018.