Government decided on the relocation of eight asylum seekers rescued in the Mediterranean Sea

Ministry of the Interior 11.7.2019 13.21
Press release 53/2019

The Government has made a decision, confirming the policy outlined by the Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs on 28 June, to relocate from Italy up to eight asylum seekers rescued in the Mediterranean by the end of the year. The request to receive asylum seekers was made by the European Commission.

The applications of asylum seekers rescued by the Sea Watch III rescue vessel will be processed in Finland, and the regular asylum procedure will be followed. The need for international protection will be assessed individually for each asylum seeker. Most of them are from the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Mali and Guinea.

As stated in Finland’s Presidency Programme, the objective is to facilitate the temporary relocation mechanism for asylum seekers rescued at sea. Finland aims to move away from ad hoc solutions towards more predictable and sustainable measures. The solidarity shown by the Presidency in practice will promote the achievement of these goals.

Finnish Immigration Service is responsible for the preparations involved in relocation. Finland has previous experience of the relocation scheme. In 2015–2017, Finland relocated 1,980 persons from Greece and Italy.

Since June 2018, approximately 800 persons rescued at sea have been relocated to more than 10 countries within the EU.

Inquiries:

Annikki Vanamo-Alho, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 488 678, [email protected]