Government wins confidence vote on border security

Opposition parties had submitted a motion of no confidence in the government over the possible threat of a hybrid operation at Finland's borders.

Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

The government of Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) won a vote of confidence in Parliament on Friday afternoon by a margin of 91 to 66.

The confidence motion was submitted by nearly all the opposition parties — the Finns Party, the National Coalition Party, the Christian Democrats and Movement Now — and called into question Finland's preparedness to deal with hybrid threats.

It was prompted by the ongoing situation at Belarus' borders with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, where thousands of migrants have gathered in order to enter the European Union.

According to both Finland and the EU, the mass migration is a hybrid operation orchestrated by Belarus to protest against EU sanctions.

In the interpellation question submitted to Parliament, the opposition parties suggested that Finland could respond to the hybrid threat by suspending the acceptance of asylum applications and, if necessary, close the country's borders. The opposition said this could be achieved by placing emergency clauses in Finland's Aliens Act.

However, the government argued during the interpellation debate that such an emergency clause would not be possible within the framework of the Finnish Constitution or EU legislation.