Prime Minister Juha Sipilä has told Yle that he “would be willing to temporarily raise Finland’s quota to as many as 2,000 refugees.” Speaking during an interview on Yle’s Haloo Eurooppa podcast series, the Prime Minister said that Finland could use the quota system to help ease the burden of distributing refugees throughout Europe.
Along with the rest of the EU, Finland had previously agreed to take on its share of the 160,000 refugees that are being distributed across Europe. Sipilä confirmed that Finland had so far managed to fulfil its commitment in this regard. However, he believes that Finland could use the quota system to shoulder a greater share of the refugee burden. The Prime Minister wants an increase in quotas to be decided at EU level and intends to actively pursue the matter.
The Finnish refugee quota is currently 750, although in 2013-14 it was raised to 1,050 due to the worsening crisis in Syria. While the Ministry of the Interior has since presented a budget increase that would have allowed the quota to be raised back to 1,050, no agreement was reached. It was expected that the government would raise the refugee quota in the springtime, but this was not possible as the Blue Reform party made it clear that they were against doing so.
Interior Minister Paula Risikko has also spoken in favour of raising the refugee quota in order to help those that are most severely affected by crisis situations. It should be noted that quota refugees come to Finland through a different system than asylum seekers. In the former case, Finland is able to select people directly from abroad that are designated as refugees by the UN.
Dan Anderson – HT
Photo: Lehtikuva / Heikki Saukkomaa
Source: Uusi Suomi