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Minister Risikko to informal meeting of EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Tallinn

Ministry of the Interior 5.7.2017 12.11
Press release 73/2017
Minister Risikko to informal meeting of EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Tallinn

The EU Ministers of the Interior will gather for an informal meeting of justice and home affairs (JHA) ministers in Tallinn on 6–7 July. The meeting will be the first during Estonia’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The main themes on the meeting agenda will be voluntary and forced return of asylum seekers who have received a negative asylum decision, the situation in the Mediterranean, and questions related to EU information systems.

Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister of the Interior Paula Risikko.

"Estonia is firmly determined to continue pursuing the matters that were not completed during the Maltese Presidency. Estonia is a close cooperation partner for Finland and we share many priorities in the EU, including the development and better interoperability of EU information systems. I strongly believe that Estonia will reach results and Finland is prepared to support its Presidency," Minister Risikko notes.

In their informal Council meetings, justice and home affairs ministers do not make decisions but they discuss topical matters on the basis of earlier decisions.

Finland must take an active part in negotiations

The meeting is also expected to deal with solidarity, the progress made in asylum seekers’ relocation, and other matters raised at the meeting of the Italian, French and German ministers of the interior. Italy has threatened to close its ports if the other EU Member States do not help the country, which is under enormous migratory pressure.

"Finland is monitoring the situation closely. We will discuss the matter on Thursday following an update of the most recent events. Possible conclusions will be made after that. Finland must participate in the discussions actively because we want to influence instead of floating with the tide," Minister Risikko stresses.

It has been long known that the distribution of asylum seekers is uneven and that some countries are unwilling to shoulder responsibility for the matter.

"Finland has taken care of its responsibility for the relocation of asylum seekers from Italy and Greece but, unfortunately, the same cannot be said of many other EU countries. If the aim is to have an efficient common European asylum system and a sustainable solution is sought for the asylum situation, jointly agreed measures must be implemented everywhere," Risikko reminds.

Inquiries:

Laura Yli-Vakkuri, Director General, tel. +358 40 720 22 16, laura.yli-vakkuri@intermin.fi