Finland is helping to reduce migratory pressures on Southern Europe and Turkey by receiving refugees and asylum seekers as part of EU relocation and resettlement schemes.
The resettlement scheme based on the agreement between the EU and Turkey only applies to Syrian refugees in Turkey. Finland has received 11 Syrian refugees by early April and promised to take in a total of 600 Syrians from Turkey this year.
According to the EU-Turkey agreement, for every Syrian being returned from Greece or Italy another Syrian refugee from Turkey will be resettled to the EU. Finland, Germany and the Netherlands have been the first EU countries to receive Syrian refugees from Turkey. Finland managed to organise the reception effectively, as we were the only country to make the arrangements in good time and as agreed for the Syrians.
The EU is preparing to resettle about 72,000 Syrians from Turkey.
By early April, Finland has received 259 asylum seekers as part of the EU's relocation scheme, 148 from Italy and 111 from Greece. By March, the total number of relocations within the EU had reached 1,061, the percentage share for Finland being approximately 20%.
Finland has committed itself to receiving around 3,200 asylum seekers as part of the relocation scheme within two years. Their applications will be processed in accordance with the same procedure as for other asylum seekers. However, if relocated asylum seekers leave Finland to apply for asylum in another member state, we must take them back under the Dublin Regulation.
The European Council has agreed that within two years 160,000 asylum seekers will be relocated within the Union, with priority on vulnerable persons.
By receiving refugees and asylum seekers, Finland shows solidarity with both other EU member states and third countries.