The Finnish Government has made a decision, confirming the policy outlined by the Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs on 12 July, to relocate from Malta five asylum seekers rescued in the Mediterranean by the end of the year, informed today the Ministry of the Interior. The request to receive asylum seekers was made by the European Commission.
The applications of asylum seekers rescued by the Alan Kurdi vessel and the Maltese armed forces will be processed in Finland, and the regular asylum procedure will be followed. The need for international protection will be assessed individually for each asylum seeker. The majority of the rescued asylum seekers were from Sudan, Somalia and South Sudan.
As stated in Finland’s Presidency Programme, the objective is to facilitate the temporary relocation mechanism for asylum seekers rescued at sea.
Finland aims to move away from ad hoc solutions towards more predictable and sustainable measures. The solidarity shown by the Presidency in practice will promote the achievement of these goals. "Until a system of provisional arrangements is in place, Finland will not relocate any more asylum seekers", the Governmental release remarked.
This is the second time this summer that the Commission has made a request to Finland to relocate asylum seekers rescued at sea. The first request involved persons rescued by Sea Watch III and brought ashore in Italy. On 11 July, the Government decided that Finland was prepared to relocate up to eight asylum seekers from Sea Watch III by the end of the year.
Since June 2018, approximately 800 persons rescued at sea have been relocated to more than 10 countries within the EU.