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EU home affairs ministers to symbolically adopt proposal to extend temporary protection for Ukrainians fleeing the war

Ministry of the Interior
Publication date 13.6.2024 8.50 | Published in English on 13.6.2024 at 11.17
Press release

EU home affairs ministers will gather in Luxembourg on 13 June for a meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council. The topics on the agenda include the continuation of temporary protection for Ukrainians fleeing Russia's war of aggression, the implementation of the asylum and migration reform, and the EU’s common crisis preparedness. Minister of the Interior Mari Rantanen will represent Finland at the meeting.

The home affairs ministers will symbolically adopt a proposal to extend temporary protection for Ukrainians fleeing Russia's war of aggression. On 11 June, the European Commission submitted its proposal to extend temporary protection until 4 March 2026. The proposal will be formally adopted by the Council at a later stage.

Implementation of asylum and migration reform progresses

At their meeting, the home affairs ministers will receive a briefing on the implementation of the pact on asylum and migration, and the Commission will present its common implementation plan. The newly adopted pact on asylum and migration will help the EU to better manage the internal aspects of migration, but new approaches are needed to address the external aspects more effectively.

“We should work towards comprehensive partnerships with third countries. When it comes to returns, we should also look into the possibility of setting up return hubs outside of the EU. Member States facing instrumentalised migration must be able to protect their national security and safeguard the EU’s common external borders,” says Minister Rantanen.

Member States and citizens expect strong measures from the EU during crises

Over lunch, ministers will discuss the EU’s common crisis preparedness. Almost any crisis anywhere in the world has an impact on the EU and its Member States. Member States and citizens expect strong measures from the EU during crises. 

“We need a common position on key threats, including security threats, and a 360-degree approach, meaning that we must be prepared for all threats. Each Member State is responsible for its preparedness and security of supply, and measures at the EU level will complement and strengthen national structures,” the Minister says.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, civil defence has become increasingly important. 

“Our civil defence shelters are an important and long-term investment in Finland's comprehensive security. We have a great deal of civil defence expertise that we would like to share with the other Member States,” Rantanen says.

War in Ukraine has increased willingness of Member States to invest in Schengen area

The Schengen Council will discuss the overall situation in the Schengen area. In addition, ministers are expected to approve the Schengen Declaration in order to strengthen the integrity of and mutual trust in the Schengen area. The war in Ukraine has further increased the willingness of Member States to invest in a common area without internal borders but with strong external border security and a high level of internal security.

Act to improve border security under discussion in Parliament

The Minister will also brief her EU colleagues in the Council about the Finnish Government’s proposal on a border security act, which is currently under discussion in Parliament. The aim of the act is to improve border security and ensure that Finland has effective means at its disposal to combat instrumentalised migration that is being used to pressure Finland. The aim is also to prepare for more serious instances of instrumentalised migration.

Laura Yli-Vakkuri, Director General, tel. +358 40 720 22 16, [email protected]