Tensions are building between NATO and Russia and one place this is playing out is in Poland where, for the first time, NATO has stationed a battle group. The events unfolding today in the region are contextualized by Poles’ memories of a not so distant history. This article examines the recent military build-up on the Polish-Russian borders and discusses the immediate implications.
Finland lies between Sweden and Russia, sharing the second longest land border with Russia of approximately 1,300 km. Due to its geographical position, Finland has a history of occupation by both Sweden and Imperial Russia. Swedish influence from the 13th century is still visible seeing as the second most popular language in Finland remains to be Swedish, and is recognized as an official language in some Finnish municipalities mostly along the coast near to Sweden. In addition, the involvement of both the Russian Empire from 1809 until 1917 and the Soviet Union in the 20th Century demonstrates the deeply-rooted historic confrontation between Finland and Russia on their borders.
Seven percent of asylum seekers entering Europe in 2015 were unaccompanied minors. This label is placed upon asylum seekers under the age of 18 if they arrive at an EU border without family members. Minors are frequently separated from their families along the way, while other asylum seekers take perilous journeys alone. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) recently released a report asserting that unaccompanied minors are highly vulnerable and require special protection. A unified policy in Europe is needed in order to adequately protect unaccompanied minors’ rights. Increased security, along with legal routes of entry into the EU, can ensure that asylum seekers do not resort to human trafficking networks.