Priorities in EU and international affairs in the Ministry of the Interior’s administrative branch 

Each year the Ministry of the Interior updates the priorities guiding its EU and international activities. The COVID-19 situation continues to have a significant impact on the management of EU and international affairs in 2021, as meetings and other work events are largely organised virtually. Despite COVID-19, the Ministry of the Interior aims to take active and systematic action in EU and international affairs that supports the Government’s policies.

Priorities

  • Support the development of the rule of law and the implementation of fundamental and human rights in the drafting of EU legislation and in cooperation between the authorities.
     
  • Reform the EU asylum system by taking a fundamental and human rights-based approach on the basis of the proposals submitted by the Commission in autumn 2020. Develop ways to anticipate migration movements and improve crisis preparedness nationally and at the EU level.
     
  • Build tailored migration partnerships at bilateral and EU levels with key countries of origin and transit, covering return and readmission issues, reintegration and the development of legal pathways. 
     
  • Develop the Schengen system in a comprehensive manner and strengthen the Schengen area, including the establishment of the European Border and Coast Guard standing corps.
     
  • Aim to improve the operational capabilities of law enforcement authorities to respond to changing security threats, taking into account data protection, privacy protection and other fundamental and human rights.
     
  • Continue to exert a strong influence at EU and international levels to prevent violent extremism and radicalisation.
     
  • Emphasise civil emergency preparedness and crisis preparedness in Nordic cooperation, particularly when acting as chair of the Haga cooperation, during the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers, in EU level cooperation, and in NATO’s civil preparedness cooperation.
     
  • Continue to make use of Finland’s expertise in the reform of EU regulation on critical infrastructure and crisis resilience.
     
  • Promote interoperability between the activities of internal security authorities and information systems through EU and international information system projects intended for the use of authorities and through cooperation forums, also taking into account European satellite cooperation.
     
  • Return to normal arrangements for organising EU and international meetings and visits, depending on the COVID-19 situation, or, if the pandemic continues to restrict physical meetings, enhance and improve the arrangements for remote meetings.
     
  • Promote systematic recruitment of Finnish experts for influential EU and international positions.
     
  • Launch the EU programming period 2021–2027 rapidly and make comprehensive use of funding, including the Home Affairs Funds, the recovery instrument and rescEU. Ensure the maximum possible funding from different financial instruments.
     
  • Exert influence on the EU’s digitalisation, research and innovation policies and on programme contents to promote the needs of the authorities and to improve Finland’s competitiveness.