Home affairs ministers to discuss migration to the EU
EU home affairs ministers will gather in Brussels on Friday 25 November for an extraordinary meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council. The ministers will discuss migration to the EU, taking stock of the urgent challenges and joint way forward. Minister of the Interior Krista Mikkonen will represent Finland at the meeting.
“Managing migration is a major global challenge. It is in the common interest of the EU Member States and people seeking refuge to build a system that supports safe and well-managed migration. In the current situation, it is even more important than before to proceed with the reform of the EU’s migration and asylum policy,” says Minister of the Interior Mikkonen.
At the meeting, the European Commission will present its action plan on the Central Mediterranean consisting of 20 measures.
Migration on the increase again after pandemic years
After the pandemic years, migration to the EU is growing again, and the number of arrivals is at its highest since 2016. According to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, approximately 281,000 irregular border crossings or attempted crossings were detected at the external borders of the EU by the end of October. Growth has been observed especially along the Western Balkans and the Eastern and Central Mediterranean routes.
Work on the EU’s migration and asylum reform continues
Migration and asylum policy must be carried out in a comprehensive and balanced manner, based on an up-to-date picture of the situation, extensive and knowledge-based analyses, and foresight of future developments. Information is needed on overall migration routes to the EU, the number of asylum seekers in the Union and unauthorised secondary movements between Member States.
The EU’s migration and asylum reform proceeded during the French Presidency, and in June, the Member States reached an agreement on two proposals for regulations included in the reform package. In June, more than 20 EU Member States (including Finland) and Schengen associated countries signed a political declaration of solidarity for the benefit of five Mediterranean countries (Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Malta).
The discussion on solidarity and the balance between responsibility and solidarity will continue during the Czech Presidency. The aim is to proceed gradually and strive to meet the needs of all Member States as far as possible at each stage. A comprehensive reform should be pursued on the basis of the Commission’s legislative proposals and other initiatives. Finland supports the Presidency in its work to promote the reform. The aim is to have the reform adopted by spring 2024, i.e. during this legislative period.
Partnerships are important with countries of origin and transit
It is important to create equal and sustainable partnerships with countries of origin and transit and use partnerships in promoting the EU’s goals in relation to, for example, addressing the root causes of forced migration and a good management of migration. The EU should seek to exert influence in its partnerships to ensure that the migration and asylum policy of partner countries will also respect international law and human rights.
The development of legal pathways and their accessibility for people in need of international protection are an important part of a comprehensive and sustainable EU migration policy. In particular, an increase in resettlement, advocated by the Commission, is important to help the most vulnerable refugees.
Minna Hulkkonen, Director General, tel. +358 295 488 600, [email protected]
Tiina Kivinen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 50 566 1922, [email protected] (requests for interviews with Minister Mikkonen)