Finnish, Norwegian ministers visit fence at eastern border

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Finnish, Norwegian ministers visit fence at eastern border

Minister of the Interior Mari Rantanen and Norwegian Minister of Justice and Public Security Emilie Enger Mehl on Monday met in Finland and paid a visit to the Southeast Finland Border Guard District at Finland’s eastern border.

The ministers of the neighbouring countries received a briefing on the progress of the border fence and other projects, said the Ministry of the Interior in a press release.

The ministers held bilateral discussions on a variety of topical issues, including instrumentalised migration and border security.

The government proposal for a new border security act is currently being discussed by Finland’s Parliament. The act would lay down provisions on powers to restrict the reception of applications for international protection.

“Our goal is to ensure that Finland has effective means to tackle situations where instrumentalised migration is used to put pressure on Finland. Instrumentalised migration is a common challenge of all countries on the EU’s external border. Finland and Norway both want to see solutions at the EU level to combat this phenomenon,” Rantanen said.

Finland, together with Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland, published a letter to the European Commission on 7 June calling for action to give Member States more effective tools to combat the instrumentalisation of migration.

On the topic of migration, the ministers also discussed cooperation with third countries, for example with respect to returns.

“Norway engages in comprehensive cooperation on returns with key third countries, and Finland wants to learn from Norway’s experiences. Nordic cooperation on return issues is very important and should be deepened further,” said Rantanen.


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