Opportunities and challenges
A common thread between the countries is the major changes that have taken place in the last 20 years in the Nordic-Baltic region and the different challenges the countries will face in the years to come. The Nordic countries emphasise both positive and negative aspects of migration. Migration and free movement of labour force are part of the Nordic mindset as well as the Nordic success story. In Sweden, migration has always been a fundamental element of the Swedish economy.
Migration does, however, bring with it challenges, as in Finland where the unemployment rate is considerably higher for foreign citizens than it is for locals. A current problem in Norway is how labour migrants from Eastern Europe have a peripheral position in the Norwegian economy. This fact has created increased segregation in society, and according to research there is little development over time. In Sweden, a current myth is how immigrants are taking local people's jobs. Research has proven that this is not the case, and migration has little effect on the unemployment rate. Instead, the labour market quickly adapts to migration changes.
In recent years the Baltic States have experienced an immense increase in outward migration. Emigration in the last few years has mostly been due to accession to the European Union and the economic recession. The number one destination for Estonians is Finland, while labour migrants from Latvia and Lithuania are emigrating to English-speaking countries, mainly the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Measures for better policy-making concerning migration and labour mobility are key topics. Continue reading here.