Opportunities and risks of visa-free travel discussed in Poland

Ministry of the Interior 24.9.2013 7.50
News item

Permanent Secretary of the Finnish Ministry of the Interior Ms Päivi Nerg participates in a conference on visa liberalisation in Warsaw, Poland, on Tuesday 24 September. The conference will focus on the visa policy of the eastern neighbours and Russia.

According to Permanent Secretary Päivi Nerg, visa liberalisation between the EU and Russia would impact Finland the most out of all EU Member States.

- Last year, Finland granted a total of 1.3 million Schengen visas to Russian citizens, and the land border between Finland and Russia was crossed by more than twelve million passengers, said Ms Nerg.

The conference in Warsaw will also assess the opportunities and risks associated with visa liberalisation.

- The single most significant challenge for the authorities will be how to maintain internal security. As the number of passengers grows, the transport infrastructure and the flow of cross-border traffic will be put to test, in addition to which ordinary crime and traffic accidents are expected to increase, said Ms Nerg.

During her visit to Poland, Ms Nerg will meet Mr Ilkka Laitinen, Executive Director of the EU external borders agency Frontex, and Mr Rafal Rogala, Head of the Polish Office for Foreigners.