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Foreign affairs and home affairs ministers to discuss external aspects of EU migration policy

Ministry for Foreign AffairsMinistry of the Interior
Publication date 15.3.2021 13.18
Press release 31/2021
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The home affairs ministers and foreign affairs ministers of EU member states will meet at an informal video conference on 15 March 2021. Finland will be represented by Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto and State Secretary Olli-Poika Parviainen. The announced theme of the meeting is the external dimension of the EU’s migration and asylum reform. The debate will focus on mutually beneficial migration partnerships between the EU and non-EU countries, and enhanced coordination between the different parties.

“The political, economic and social developments in our neighbouring countries also have a direct impact on the stability and security of the EU. Equal and sustainable partnerships with the countries of origin and transit are therefore needed to promote the EU’s objectives and also to influence the root causes of forced migration,” says Foreign Minister Haavisto. 

“We must strive to ensure that the immigration and asylum policy of the partner countries would also be respectful of international law and human rights,” State Secretary Parviainen notes.

In September 2020, the European Commission issued a comprehensive communication on the reform of migration and asylum policy. With respect to the external aspects of EU migration policy, the Commission aims to strengthen partnerships more strategically and more comprehensively.

“We need a broader dialogue with our partner countries, and migration issues should be discussed as part of the EU’s overall relations with third countries. To be a credible partner, we also urgently need to advance the finalisation of the reform on the EU asylum system by resolving the issues that divide the Member States,” Parviainen says.

Better coordination of bilateral cooperation and EU-level partnerships

The Commission has moreover noted that bilateral cooperation between Member States and non-EU countries on the one hand and EU-level partnerships on the other must be effectively coordinated to ensure the consistency of the efforts. Coordination should be intensified at the EU level, at the national level, and across these two levels. 

“To make our work more effective, coordination between EU actors must also be improved in the field. For example, cooperation between Justice and Home Affairs agencies, such as Frontex, and EU crisis management operations should be strengthened,” says State Secretary Parviainen.

Laura Yli-Vakkuri, Director General, Ministry of the Interior, tel. +358 40 720 22 16, [email protected] 
Jeri Aalto, Special Adviser to Minister Haavisto, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 50 472 0725, [email protected]


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