Priorities in EU and international affairs in the Ministry of the Interior’s administrative branch for 2024

The Ministry of the Interior sets out annually the priorities that guide the international and EU activities in its administrative branch.

The general premise of the EU and international activities in the Ministry of the Interior’s branch of government is to comprehensively promote the objectives of the security-focused Government Programme, Finland’s key objectives for the EU parliamentary term and the Joint Strategy for the Ministry of the Interior’s Administrative Branch.


  • Constructively promote EU-level measures that develop opportunities to implement the asylum process and the provision of international protection in safe third countries.
  • Promote and support EU-level initiatives for designating safe third countries in the asylum process.
  • Promote the enhancement of return policy both nationally and jointly in the EU, take advantage of instruments in different policy sectors (development, trade and visa policy, as well as external relations) and work in collaboration with the EU Return Coordinator. Examine possibilities to return people staying or residing in Finland illegally to third countries (including return centres) in situations where they cannot be returned to their home countries.
  • Purposefully promote solutions to prevent the opportunities of external actors to instrumentalise migrants with the aim of exerting influence against the European Union.
  • Constructively promote the introduction of an EU-level mechanism that would, in the event of a mass influx of irregular or instrumentalised migrants, allow temporarily suspending the processing of individual asylum applications in a situation where the sovereignty of a state is endangered by, for example, hostile measures taken by a foreign state.
  • Strengthen the effectiveness and resilience of the Schengen Area by influencing the reform the Schengen acquis, participating in Schengen evaluation efforts and supporting the further development of the Schengen system and administration.
  • Promote effective European integrated border management by exercising influence on the implementation of multiannual policy and the updating of the regulations governing the European Border and Coast Guard Agency. Alongside European cooperation, promote active bilateral cooperation with countries of relevance to Finland in order to respond to border security threats.
  • Improve the operational capabilities of law enforcement authorities to respond to changing security threats. The objective is to increase the mutual exchange of information between the authorities in EU Member States to combat terrorism, organised crime and gang crime.
  • Promote initiatives aimed at closer cooperation on resilience in the Nordic region, the EU and NATO. The competencies and strengths of the Ministry of the Interior’s administrative branch will be linked to the efforts aimed at developing Europe’s resilience and preparedness.
  • Combat threats to national security by improving the security authorities’ ability to respond to information influence activities, hybrid influence activities and serious cyber threats, taking into account the objectives of the EU’s Strategic Compass and the resilience requirements imposed on critical infrastructure. Take into consideration EU/NATO policy cooperation in the protection of critical infrastructure.
  • Actively promote the use and development of national expertise in the formulation of the EU’s digitalisation, research and innovation policies and in the implementation of various programmes.

The Ministry of the Interior will monitor the impact and implementation of the priorities alongside the implementation of the Joint Strategy for the Ministry of the Interior’s Administrative Branch. In implementing the priorities, the Ministry will make full use of the available external financing.