Ministry of the Interior proposes additional funding to police for digital solutions; total budget will increase slightly
The Ministry of the Interior proposes that an appropriation totalling EUR 1,485 million be allocated to its administrative branch in 2019. This is, as a whole, an increase of nearly EUR 10 million on the approved 2018 Budget figure.
The Government decided in spring 2018 on the resources to be allocated for internal security and migration in 2019–2022. The Ministry of the Interior’s budget proposal for 2019 is largely based on this spending limits decision. Despite this favourable decision, there is still a lot of pressure to increase the appropriations for the internal security actors’ operating expenses. This becomes apparent in the Ministry of the Interior’s draft budget as the proposals exceed the spending limits. The Government will discuss in the budget session on 28–29 August a number of proposals which are significant for internal security but which were not taken into account in the spending limits decision.
Additional funding to police for technical and digital solutions as well as for equipment procurement
In its spending limits decision last spring, the Government decided to allocate an additional appropriation of EUR 18 million to the police for their operating expenses in 2019. This additional resource will be allocated to ensuring the current service level and securing the core police operations. The Ministry of the Interior proposes that an appropriation totalling EUR 813 million be allocated to the entire police service, including the Finnish Security Intelligence Service, in the 2019 Budget.
This appropriation, which exceeds the spending limits, is required primarily for the technical solutions and equipment procurement related to improving the police’s operational capability and for the further development of police operating methods by means of digitalisation. More effective crime prevention and police surveillance by means of digitalisation make it possible for the police to conduct effective surveillance proactively and to carry out background checks on people, vehicles or objects, for example. In addition, the amount of digital data processed by the police continues to grow, as does the need for e-services provided to both citizens and police personnel.
Additional appropriations are also needed because there are a number of legislative amendments concerning the internal security sector which either are currently under discussion or have just entered into force and which will have financial implications.
Migration-related expenditure will decrease
The Ministry of the Interior proposes an appropriation of EUR 193 million for migration-related expenditure in 2019, which is about 19 per cent less than this year. It is estimated that about 4,000 asylum seekers will arrive in the country in 2019. This is 3,000 fewer than the estimate for the current year.
In addition to new applications, the Finnish Immigration Service also processes subsequent applications submitted by asylum seekers who have come to the country earlier, applications that must be reconsidered under the Dublin Regulation and applications that must be reconsidered after the appeal procedure. The appropriations in line with the spending limits decision for 2019 are not sufficient when considering the current number of people within the reception system and how slowly they leave the reception system. For this reason, an increase of about EUR 24 million is proposed for the provision of reception services for asylum seekers.
The Ministry of the Interior proposes that the refugee quota be increased from the current 750 refugees to 1,050 for 2019. The proposal is related to the reform of the Common European Asylum System outlined by the European Council. Its aim is to shift the focus from seeking asylum across the borders to the EU’s joint centres, from where those granted asylum can be resettled in Member States. Most of the people who arrive in Finland under the current refugee quota are Syrian refugees from Turkey who are to be resettled under the EU–Turkey agreement. The increase in the quota will help refugees who are the most vulnerable and fulfil the criteria for international protection. The Government will decide on the quota in its budget session.
Numbers of passengers continue to increase at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport
It is proposed that an appropriation of EUR 256 million be allocated to the Finnish Border Guard in 2019. The draft budget includes a joint estimate and proposal for appropriation by the Border Guard and the Finnish Police concerning the impact of the rapidly increasing number of passengers at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport on security and a smooth flow of passenger traffic particularly across the EU’s external border.
It is also proposed in the draft budget that additional funding be allocated for equipment and materiel procurements to improve the Border Guard’s immediate preparedness and operational capability. In the spending limits decision last spring, an additional appropriation of EUR 2.5 million was allocated to the Border Guard for its operating expenses.
Additional funding for training provided by the Emergency Services College
Additional appropriations are proposed for securing the training and core operations of the Emergency Services College and for bringing the national capability for civilian crisis management up to the level required by the current security environment.
Kati Korpi, Director of Finance and Planning, tel. +358 295 488 513
Jukka Aalto, Director General, tel. +358 295 488 510
Titta Andersson-Bohren, Special Adviser, tel. +358 50 513 1539 (requests for interview with Minister of the Interior Kai Mykkänen)