Refugees and Migrants: European Politics, Policies and Practices

kutsutilaisuus · Auditorium of the Annex Building of the Parliament, Arkadiankatu 3, Helsinki · 12.03.2019 09:00 - 11:30


There are over 258 million migrants around the world living outside their country of birth. This figure is expected to grow for a number of reasons including population growth, increasing connectivity, trade, rising inequality, demographic imbalances and climate change. Migration provides immense opportunity and benefits – for the migrants, host communities and communities of origin. However, there are significant challenges involved that include overwhelming social infrastructures with the unexpected arrival of large numbers of people and the deaths of migrants undertaking dangerous journeys. In addition to this there are an additional 68.5 million refugees and forcibly displaced persons in the world. Criminal offenses perpetrated by some asylum seekers fuel the intensely heated debate regarding refugee and migration policies in host countries.

The public discourse inevitably wraps and confuses the different movements, impacts and consequences. Hence, the debates and policies should be informed by evidence and facts rather than prejudice and anecdote. This seminar will discuss the present state of play of European migration and refugee debate, its broader global context, and possible ways for Finland to contribute to informed policy-making with a particular emphasis on development policies and practices.

The seminar is co-organised by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA).


Opening remarks

Teija Tiilikainen

Director, Finnish Institute of International Affairs

Teija Tiilikainen is the Director of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA). Previously, Dr. Tiilikainen was the Director of the Network of European Studies at the University of Helsinki (2003-2009). She has also served as Secretary of State at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland from 2007 to 2008. Dr. Tiilikainen was the Special Representative of the Prime Minister of Finland in the Convention on the Future of Europe in 2002-2003. Currently, she is also Editor-in-Chief of Ulkopolitiikka – the Finnish Journal of Foreign Affairs.

Keynote speaker

Roger Zetter

Emeritus Professor

Roger Zetter, BA, MA (Cambridge), DPhil (Institute of Development Studies University of Sussex) is Emeritus Professor of Refugee Studies at the University of Oxford and former Director of the Refugee Studies Centre at the University. In an academic career spanning almost 40 years his research, publication, teaching and consultancy experience in forced migration, refugee and humanitarian affairs includes all stages of the ‘refugee cycle’, focusing on institutional and policy dimensions of the refugee and humanitarian ‘regime’, and the impacts on forcibly displaced people. From 1988-2001, he was Founding Editor of the Journal of Refugee Studies (published by OUP). His research and consultancy funders include: UK ESRC, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Brookings-Bern Project, MPI, ICRC, IFRC, UNHCR, UNDP, UNFPA, UNHabitat, IOM, ILO, EC, World Bank, Governments of Denmark, Finland, Norway, NZ, Switzerland, UK.


Anna Knoll

Head of Migration, European Center for Development Policy Management (ECDPM)

Anna Knoll leads ECDPM’s portfolio on migration as Head of the Migration Programme. Anna’s expertise lies in migration, displacement and development as well as EU external action and international cooperation on migration, with a specific focus on EU-Africa relations. She has over 7 years of professional experience in this field and has extensively published on migration issues resulting in cooperation and joint publications with a number of organisations, including the IOM, World Bank, and the OECD Development Centre. She has led several studies and has been involved in projects and evaluations related to migration as thematic expert supporting European ministries on migration and development issues.

Chukwu-Emeka Chikezie

Director, Up!-Africa Ltd

Chukwu-Emeka Chikezie works as an integrator where development, migration, private sector growth, and diasporas intersect to expand job-/wealth-creation and prospects for economic transformation in Africa. He cofounded London-based African Foundation for Development (AFFORD) in 1994, with a mission to expand and enhance African diasporas’ contributions to Africa’s development, and Freetown-based AFFORD-SL in 2008. As a consultant, he has led several private sector development programs and provides advisory consulting services to a range of clients. He served as Senior Advisor to governments of Mexico (2010) and Mauritius (2012) in their respective capacities as Chairs of Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD). Chukwu-Emeka is of Nigerian/Sierra Leonean/UK origin and operates transnationally between the UK and Sierra Leone.

Renne Klinge

Leading Expert, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Renne Klinge is currently Special Advisor in charge of global migration issues at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, after serving as Deputy Permanent Representative of the Finnish mission in Geneva 2014-2018. A career diplomat for the past 23 years, Mr Klinge is experienced in UN and multilateral diplomacy, international media relations, security policy issues, strategic planning and external economic relations. He has served posts also in Athens, Rome, and Brussels, where he dealt with EU issues and, in the latter, the European Parliament.


Olli Ruohomäki

Senior Advisor, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Olli Ruohomäki is a Senior Advisor with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Prior to the current assignment he was a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. He has served as Charges d’affaires a.i., at the Embassy of Finland, Afghanistan, Deputy Representative of Finland to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and taken up special duties in Kosovo and the Middle East. He also has experience with the United Nations in war-torn Cambodia in the early 1990s. Dr. Ruohomäki received his PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.