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EU Relocation Programme ends – Finland has received 1,975 asylum seekers who arrived in Italy and Greece

Migri 22.9.2017 17.26
News item

Since October 2015, Finland has received 1,975 asylum seekers who originally arrived in Greece or Italy.

In autumn 2015, Finland committed to receiving a total of 2,078 asylum seekers under the EU relocation scheme. On Thursday, 21 September 2017, Finland received 24 asylum seekers who arrived via Italy. By doing so, Finland became the first EU Member State to have received the total number of asylum seekers it has promised to receive from Italy. Finland has now met its relocation targets, with the exception of the last asylum seekers expected from Greece, whom Greece has not yet selected.

Finland has received 779 relocated asylum seekers from Italy and 1,196 from Greece. The majority of persons arriving from Italy are Eritrean, the majority from Greece are Syrian.

Relocation does not guarantee asylum

The asylum seekers relocated to Finland are not automatically granted asylum or a residence permit in Finland. Instead, their applications are processed like those of other asylum seekers. The only exception is that the Dublin Regulation does not apply to them.

The EU Member States have jointly decided that a nationality is eligible for relocation if Eurostat statistics demonstrate that at least 75% of asylum seekers representing the nationality in question have been granted international protection in the EU Member States in the last quarter. Furthermore, the asylum seekers need to have submitted their applications in Italy or Greece between 24 March 2015 and 26 September 2017. By 31 August 2017, a total of 1,412 relocated asylum seekers received an asylum decision in Finland. The share of positive decisions was 96%.

What is the EU Relocation Programme?

In autumn 2015, a large number of asylum seekers arrived in Greece and Italy. As a sign of solidarity towards these countries, the other EU Member States committed to receiving a certain number of these asylum seekers in line with a European Council Decision. Finland committed to receiving 2,078 persons in total.

Further information:

Mikko Montin, Head of the Dublin Section, 0295 430 431

Monna Airiainen, contact person for relocations, 0295 430 431

Press release