Finland will be better prepared to provide and receive international assistance
The legislation on Finland’s preparedness to provide and receive international assistance will be specified within the mandate of the Ministry of the Interior. The President of the Republic approved the amendments on 28 June.
They are part of a larger package which also includes legislation within the mandate of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence. The amendments will enter into force on 1 July 2017.
The legislation is amended to remove legal obstacles so that Finland will be able to provide and receive international assistance in different kinds of situations. There are several international and EU-level arrangements in the Ministry of the Interior's branch of government by which the police, rescue and border management authorities can provide and receive international assistance for the prevention and management of threats and risks affecting internal safety. The EU Member States have at their disposal the Union Civil Protection Mechanism and the Solidarity Clause included in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The Solidarity Clause obligates EU Member States to provide assistance upon request to another Member State which is the object of a terrorist attack or the victim of a natural or man-made disaster.
The amended acts will especially specify the regulations on the decision-making on the provision and reception of international assistance, the provision of mutual support abroad by the authorities, and the rights and obligations of public officials regarding situations of international assistance.
The acts lay provisions on decision-making in the Ministry of the Interior and the agencies under it. The Act within the mandate of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs provides for decision-making by the President of the Republic and the Government plenary session and for consultation of Parliament. The Act also provides for a procedure for urgent decisions at ministerial level and for a procedure for urgent situations requiring the use of military force.
The Finnish Defence Forces and the Border Guard can in future provide such assistance to the police which involves the use of armed force outside Finnish territory. In other words, the police, assisted by the Defence Forces and the Border Guard, can resort to military force to carry out police duties in situations of international assistance. Such use of force could only be applied to prevent terrorism.
The purpose of the amendments is to ensure that Finnish public officials performing international assistance duties have as strong a legal status as officials performing duties in Finland.
Tapio Puurunen, Chief Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 254, firstname.lastname@example.org