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Interior ministry proposes raising Finland’s quota refugee numbers by 300

The proposal was part of the ministry's annual revenue and expenditures report for next year.

Vastaanottokeskus Turku.
File photo of an asylum reception centre facility in Turku. Image: Jussi Vierimaa /SPR

The interior ministry has proposed that Finland raise the number of quota refugees it accepts from the current 750 people to 1,050.

Generally throughout the 2000's, Finland has set the number of quota refugees it accepts to 750 people per year. But due to the conflict in Syria, the figures were temporarily raised in 2014 and 2015 to 1,050. In its report the interior ministry said raising quota levels would help refugees who are most vulnerable.

The ministry also said it expects that there will be some 3,000 fewer asylum seekers arriving to Finland next year, saying it anticipates some 4,000 individuals will apply for asylum.

This year the ministry estimates that a total of some 7,000 people will apply for asylum in the country. However, the ministry also noted in its budget outlook that the numbers of arriving asylum seekers can change very quickly.

Most quota refugees are registered as refugees and offered resettlement by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). According to the Finnish Immigration Service, quota refugees are individuals forced to leave their home countries or countries of permanent residence, and people who cannot stay in the country to which he or she has fled.

However the finance ministry did not mention raised quota refugee numbers in its recently-published budget proposal for next year.

Government is expected to decide on those figures when lawmakers begin negotiating next year's budget at the end of August.

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