European Council agreed on ways to reduce migrant victims in the Mediterranean

Government Communications Department 23.4.2015 21.00
Press release 215/2015

In its extraordinary meeting on 23 April, the European Council discussed illegal immigration over the Mediterranean and the recent tragic accidents. The Council adopted concrete measures aimed at saving human lives and deterring the activities of human trafficking gangs.

The European Council decided to triple, this and next year, the financial resources of the Poseidon and Triton operations of the European Border Control Agency Frontex in the Mediterranean. Frontex’s mission is help to Member States control the EU’s Union external border.

Finland has actively participated in Frontex operations in the Mediterranean and will continue to offer its expertise in the future.

“A patrol boat of the Finnish Board Guard is currently in the Mediterranean, a surveillance aircraft will be assigned to the region at the beginning of May, and Finland will also make the aircraft available to Frontex in the autumn,” said Prime Minister Alexander Stubb to the members of the European Council.

The European Council is encouraging EU Member States to strengthen their development programmes in departure and transit countries. Finland has decided to support the health care of refugees with EUR 2.75 million via the International Organisation for Migration IOM in Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia.

“More sustainable results will be achieved by addressing the root causes that force people to leave their home countries,” said Prime Minister Stubb.

“In many different ways, Member States are showing solidarity towards EU countries encountering the largest migration pressures. It is also essential to safeguard the human rights of human trafficking victims and others who are in the most vulnerable position,” said Prime Minister Stubb.

Inquiries: Lauri Tierala, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 40 841 7141 and Kare Halonen, State Secretary for EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 315, Prime Minister’s Office

English translation of the press release published on 24 April 2015