Paula Risikko (NCP), the Minister of the Interior, views that turning asylum seekers away at the border is not an option for Finland.
“If someone comes here to apply for asylum, they must be accepted into the asylum process and the process must be completed. This is stipulated both in international treaties and our own legislation,” she reminded in an interview with Uusi Suomi on Friday.
The Centre Party proposed late last month that Finland turn away all asylum seekers arriving from safe countries without delay at the border, arguing that such expedited returns would be justified on grounds of the Dublin Regulation. The Dublin Regulation prescribes that an asylum application must be examined in the member state of first entry.
A source from within the party later specified that the intention is not to turn asylum seekers away immediately at the border but simply to apply an expedited, eight-day process to applications filed by people arriving from safe countries, such as Sweden.
The Green League similarly shed light on its asylum policy views in September. The Dublin Regulation, it argued, should be abolished altogether after it crumbled in the face of the influx of asylum seekers into the European Union in 2015.
Risikko on Friday conceded that the regulation has not function as intended but viewed that abolishing it would be premature.
“The Dublin Regulation is still important. With people principally being able to move without internal border controls within the Schengen Area, it’s very important to define clearly which member state is responsible for examining a particular asylum application. The system should be developed so that it functions also in the event of massive immigration. In 2015, the system didn’t work,” she said.
The Finnish government began drafting its immigration policy programme last summer.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi