On Wednesday 27 February, the Finnish Government confirmed its decision to take measures to assist 175 vulnerable asylum seekers.
According to the Ministry of the Interior, Finland will receive primarily unaccompanied minors and single-parent families who are likely to have grounds for international protection and who come from countries where security is particularly poor, such as Syria and Afghanistan.
Up to 175 asylum seekers could be relocated from Greece, Cyprus, Malta and Italy, depending on where the situation is the most serious.
The Ministry of the Interior, in cooperation with the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri), will decide later on a more exact timetable for the relocations and from which countries individuals will be transferred. The Finnish Immigration Service together with other authorities will decide on the reception of individuals on a case-by-case basis.
The relocations will be carried out in stages. They will be scheduled over a sufficiently long period of time so that the Finnish Immigration Service can ensure that applicants are properly received and that their special needs are taken into account. The actual asylum process of the persons will start when they arrive in Finland.
Costs compensated by EU funding
Compensation for costs arising during the reception phase of asylum seekers will be provided through the EU Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). Finland can also apply for funding from the European Commission for the costs through the AMIF emergency assistance mechanism.
The Government expects that other costs will arise, for example, from integration. In the Budget for 2020, provision has already been made for 4,000 first asylum applications to be submitted in Finland. Of the applicants, 200 are estimated to be unaccompanied minors.
In 2019, about 2,500 asylum seekers arrived in Finland. In recent years, the number has been smaller than before 2015, when more than 32,000 asylum seekers arrived in the country. Before 2015, the number of applicants had been relatively stable between 3,000 and 4,000 per year.