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Sampo Terho (BR), the Minister of European Affairs, Culture and Sports, has voiced his opposition to calls for increasing the EU’s refugee quota tenfold.
Sampo Terho (BR), the Minister of European Affairs, Culture and Sports, has voiced his opposition to calls for increasing the EU’s refugee quota tenfold.

 

Sampo Terho (BR), the Minister of European Affairs, Culture and Sports, has rejected calls to raise the refugee quota in both Finland and Europe.

Kai Mykkänen (NCP), the Minister of the Interior, urged the European Union last week to raise its refugee quota tenfold – from roughly 25,000 to 250,000 – and only allow cross-border asylum claims under special circumstances.

“Out of the question,” retorted Terho.

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“Raising the number of quota refugees accepted to the EU tenfold makes no sense, not in principle or even in theory,” he wrote in his blog. “You can’t solve the global refugee crisis by accepting tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of people to Europe. Mykkänen’s proposal would only consolidate the rigid structures of the current dysfunctional system while postponing reforms that ultimately will have to be made.”

Mykkänen justified his proposal by pointing out that while hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers have made their way to the continent annually, only a small share of the applicants have been granted asylum. The proposal, he explained, would therefore reduce the number of unsuccessful applicants who have to be sent back to their country of origin.

Terho admitted that the proposal would not automatically lead to a tenfold increase in the number of quota refugees in Finland – from 750 to 7,500 – but viewed that the increase would nevertheless be excessive.

“The volume of humanitarian immigration would increase by tens of thousands of people when family reunifications are taken into consideration,” he said.

“The number is unreasonably high for the public finances of Finland. Population relocations also would not solve the crises and problems in the source countries [of refugees] that cause people to seek entry to Europe.”

Terho, instead, believes the asylum procedure should be moved outside the EU, which has discussed the possibility of establishing offshore processing centres to limit the movement of asylum seekers inside its borders.

“The resources this would free up could be used to help vulnerable people in and around the source areas [of refugees], which is where most of the world’s refugees are today. We must also support the structures that promote education, job creation and the efforts to curb population growth in developing countries,” he argued.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Onni Ojala – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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