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EMN Sweden conference “The Nordic countries and the Ukrainian refugee situation”


EMN Sweden will organise a conference “The Nordic countries and the Ukrainian refugee situation“, which will take place on 19 May in Srockholm. 

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused one of the fastest developing, large-scale population displacements in recent history, with millions of people from Ukraine looking for protection in other countries. The Nordic countries Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland are playing their part in receiving Ukrainian refugees and offering protection alongside other EU and non-EU countries.

The Nordic countries are looking back at a long history of cooperation on a number of matters such as economic development, the mobility of citizens, and the labour market, and there are a significant similarities between these five countries as regards the welfare state, which also includes the integration of refugees and immigrants. However, as far as migration and asylum policy is concerned, there have also been differences and the coordination of policies among the Nordic countries has had its limits. In part, this is because not all Nordic countries are Member States of the European Union, or are not covered by the EU’s legal instruments in the migration and asylum area.

With this conference, EMN Sweden aims to provide an opportunity for political decision-makers, migration experts and members of civil society in Sweden and the other Nordic countries to learn about and discuss migration and asylum policy developments in the Nordic countries with a special focus on protection for Ukrainians. The objective is to facilitate dialogue and mutual learning in a comparative and inspiring setting.

The Conference mainly consists of two panels:

  • In Panel 1, speakers will provide factual information how many refugees from Ukraine the five Nordic countries have received since the start of the Russian invasion, and under what frameworks and conditions they have been received and protected, such as the EU Temporary Protection Directive or similar national frameworks. Speakers will also present on what national policies, laws or administrative practices in the areas of migration, asylum and borders might have been changed in the various countries in response to the Ukrainian refugee situation. If relevant, they will also elaborate on actions to support a common European approach to the protection of people fleeing from Ukraine (for example, solidarity measures for other EU Member States). The aim of the presentations is to inform participants of the respective situation in each of the Nordic countries, including any specific success factors or challenges as regards a well-working reception system, to enable an exchange of experiences and mutual learning. Speakers may also elaborate on other notable national policy changes in the migration and asylum area, if considered relevant.
  • Panel 2 is an interactive panel discussion aiming at exploring possible future developments and trends in the Nordic countries as regards refugees from Ukraine. This will include different perspectives, including reflections on how the reception of Ukrainians might continue to evolve and affect the Nordic countries in quantitative terms and, as regards policies and practices, what has worked well so far and what might need to be improved over the months and years to come. Policies and practices covered will include the granting of (temporary) protection, material reception conditions for Ukrainian refugees as well as their inclusion and integration in hosting societies (for example as regards accommodation/housing, schools and education, language acquisition and participation in the labour market). For example, are there any tensions between temporary protection and integration policies? While many Ukrainian refugees might want to return to Ukraine as soon as possible, others might want to stay and integrate. How can policy-makers address this possible tension? Reflecting also on the presentations in the first panel, panelists could address common challenges for the Nordic countries and lessons they could learn from each other. The panel discussion shall also include reflections on what the EU response to the Ukrainian refugee situation might mean for the ongoing development of and negotiations on a reformed Common European Asylum System.

The number of available places is limited, please register by sending an email to indicating your name, job title, organisation/employer and whether you have any specific dietary requirements.