Ministry of the Interior budget proposal for 2018
The budget of the Ministry of the Interior’s administrative branch for 2018 is approximately EUR 1.5 billion, which is, as a whole, EUR 56 million less than in the approved 2017 Budget figure. The changes in appropriations are mainly due to the fact that less funding is needed for the reception of refugees and asylum seekers than last year.
Finland’s internal security is linked to the security situations of other EU Member States and neighbouring countries. The key issues are counter-terrorism, migration, border security, cyber security and emergency response. International obligations set requirements for these activities. It is proposed that appropriations for national capability for civilian crisis management be increased by a total of EUR 300,000.
Additional funding to the police for combating terrorism and strengthening cyber security
It is proposed that an appropriation of approximately EUR 720 million be allocated for the operating expenses of the police for 2018. An appropriation of EUR 30.1 million is proposed for the operating expenses of the Finnish Security Intelligence Service. In accordance with the decision on spending limits made last spring, a total of EUR 34.5 million will be allocated to the police for 2018 for the purpose of securing police resources and stepping up the fight against hate speech and extremist movements in particular. In the spending limits decision last spring, an additional appropriation of EUR 3.5 million was also allocated to the Finnish Security Intelligence Service for improving its operational capacity.
In its budget session in August, the Government decided to propose an additional appropriation of EUR 12 million to be allocated to the police and the Finnish Security Intelligence Service for combating terrorism and cyber threats and preventing radicalisation.
Immigration costs decreasing
It is proposed that EUR 49.5 million be allocated for the operating expenses of the Finnish Immigration Service and the state reception centres for 2018. A total of EUR 191 million is proposed for the procurement of services for refugee and asylum seeker reception activities, the costs of voluntary return and the support payable to reception service customers.
The number of asylum seekers has levelled off since peak levels in late 2015. The estimates for 2018 are based on a scenario of 7,000 new asylum seekers arriving in Finland. Although the number of new asylum seekers has levelled off, there are still a lot of people within the reception system who are awaiting final decisions or placement in municipalities. By the end of July 2017, approximately 15,400 asylum seekers had been registered in the reception system. The Finnish Immigration Service estimates that, in 2018, an average of 1,200 people will leave the reception system every month; this would mean that an average of 9,500 people would still remain within the reception system in 2018.
Border Guard focus on eastern border surveillance and increasing obligations
A total of EUR 235.3 million is proposed for the operating expenses of the Border Guard for the forthcoming year. Eastern border surveillance, efficient flow of air traffic at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport and increasing EU obligations call for additional resourcing. To this end, an appropriation of nearly EUR 8 million was allocated to the Border Guard for 2018 in the spending limits decision last spring.
Additional funding for emergency response centre operator training
It is proposed that a total of approximately EUR 67 million be allocated to the expenses of the rescue services and emergency response centre operations in the 2018 Budget. The Ministry of the Interior will continue the project set to reform rescue services; the reform will come into force at the beginning of 2020. An appropriation of EUR 3 million is proposed for reforming the information systems of the rescue services in 2018. The systems will be further developed together with the Ministry of Finance to make them interoperable with the information systems of the health, social services and regional government reform.
It is also proposed that an additional appropriation of EUR 265,000 be allocated for increasing emergency response centre operating training as of 2018. The Emergency Response Centre Administration has not been able to recruit enough emergency response centre operators due to low intake rates to training.
Jukka Aalto, Director General, Administration and Development Department, tel. +358 295 418 860, [email protected]