EU home affairs ministers to discuss organised crime, situation in Ukraine and migration
EU home affairs ministers will gather in Logroño in Spain on 20 July for an informal meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council. The agenda will include the fight against organised crime, the situation in Ukraine and migration. Finland will be represented by Minister of the Interior Mari Rantanen.
The home affairs ministers will discuss ways to intensify international cooperation to combat drug trafficking fuelled by organised crime.
“Organised crime is more global than ever before. Strengthening the law enforcement and judicial cooperation in the EU is therefore essential in the fight against organised crime. Measures are needed not only at EU level but also in the Member States. The Finnish Government strongly combats organised crime by several means, for example through legislation, by increasing the number of police officers and by updating the strategy to tackle organised crime,” says Minister of the Interior Mari Rantanen.
In Finland, the increasingly cross-border nature of organised crime has become visible in the emerging criminal gangs that are directed from abroad. The international networks of the criminal gangs which have gained influence in Finland are also more extensive than before.
“From Finland's perspective, the drug trafficking routes have traditionally passed through the Baltic states, the Netherlands and Spain. In recent years, criminal gangs from the Balkans and Eastern Europe have been playing a bigger role in drug-related crime,” Minister Rantanen says.
Impact of Ukraine's situation on the EU's internal security
The home affairs ministers will discuss the impact of Ukraine’s situation on the European security order. Since last autumn, there has been close dialogue with Ukraine on topics that fall within the remit of internal affairs administration.
“Russia's invasion of Ukraine affects the border security in the EU Member States. Operational cooperation in this field is very important. Close cooperation within the EU is also needed in other areas, for example to prevent arms trafficking into the EU. Finland will continue to offer strong support for Ukraine,” Minister Rantanen says.
Finland has supported the development of Ukraine's security sector for a long time. The EU civilian crisis management mission in Ukraine employs Finnish experts from the internal affairs administration.
Finland has delivered non-military material assistance to Ukraine through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. Much of this assistance consists of donations from the private and public sectors.
Measures at EU level in case of extraordinary migratory flows
The ministers will also discuss preparedness for and prevention of extraordinary migratory situations. At EU level, efforts will be made to prevent migration crises and extraordinary situations, especially by developing partnerships with countries of origin and transit.
At the moment, irregular migration is particularly concentrated on the Central Mediterranean route from Tunisia and Libya to Italy. Almost half of the entries into the EU are detected on that route.
“The Finnish Government seeks to strengthen the EU's external borders and develop the Schengen acquis to manage migration in the EU. With regard to migration, the Government will also promote the voluntary nature of burden sharing at EU level and will be cautious about any temporary burden-sharing operations,” Minister Rantanen says.