Major drop in Schengen visa applications submitted at Finnish missions because of entry restrictions and health security measures due to COVID-19 pandemic
In 2020, Finland processed a total of 152,543 applications for a Schengen visa. The decrease in the visa applications received was 83% as compared to the number of visas processed in 2019 (895,781).
Countering disinformation to defend human rights
The fight against disinformation is important also from the perspective of the realisation of human rights. Disinformation is a challenging issue, because it has not been defined in international law, and there is not a straightforward way to distinguish misleading information from correct information. The Finnish Coalition Chair will pay special attention to the introduction of normative instruments for internet stakeholders.
Draft law concerning the national D visa to be circulated for comments
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has sent the draft law concerning the amendment of the Aliens Act, prepared in cooperation with the authorities, for a round of consultation. It proposes that Finland would also adopt the national D visa. The proposal establishes the visa application and the prerequisites for issuing.
The exceptional circumstances of 2020 showed in consular assistance
In 2020, the Unit for Consular Assistance provided nearly twice as much guidance compared to the previous year. In the spring, during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, personal guidance and advice were given to tens of thousands of travellers stranded abroad. Thousands of travellers were assisted in returning to Finland after air traffic ground to a sudden halt.
Discretionary government grants to civil society organisations operating in the field of foreign and security policy, awarded for 2021
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted EUR 1 026 000 in discretionary government grants to 14 civil society organisations (CSOs) operating in the field of foreign and security policy.
EU foreign ministers to discuss Russia and meet US foreign minister
The EU foreign ministers will convene in Brussels on Monday 22 February. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The ministers will exchange views on Russia, the Strategic Compass for EU security and defence policy, and Hong Kong. Foreign Minister Haavisto will give a report on his visit to Ethiopia and Sudan as Special Envoy of the European Union. The United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to join the meeting by video conference. On 24 February, Foreign Minister Haavisto will attend a meeting of the North Atlantic Council.
Young ambassadors for peace resolve conflicts and break the chain of revenge
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has launched projects to promote peace and reconciliation in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. The aim of the projects that are expected to last until 2023 is to encourage young people to work for peace and to use media skills as a way of exerting influence. The Ministry's Communications Department is responsible for the projects.
Funding granted for civil society organisations’ development communication and global education projects to promote awareness of and engagement in sustainable development
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) has granted EUR 2.17 million to Finnish civil society organisations’ (CSOs) development communication and global education projects in Finland in 2021–2022. In this application round, project support was granted to 19 CSOs.
Support granted for Finnish civil society organisations linked with the UN; the aim is to promote awareness of the UN and sustainable development
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted EUR two million to Finnish civil society organisations (CSOs) linked with the UN for their basic operations and development communication and global education activities. In this application round, support was granted to six CSOs.
This is FINLAND Magazine 2021–2022: The Finnish focus on solutions also works in exceptional times
A new edition of This is FINLAND magazine has been published, showcasing Finland’s strengths to the international community. This year’s edition stresses Finnish technological expertise and digitalisation. It also explores our ambition to achieve carbon neutrality, and takes a look at Finnish society both during and after the global pandemic.
Human rights and sustainable development at the core of a call for proposals for international non-governmental organisations
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA) opens a call for proposals for international non-governmental organisations (INGOs). The application round will run from 15 February to 26 March 2021.
Finland seeks membership of UN Human Rights Council
Finland is seeking membership of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in 2022–2024. The campaign slogan: ”A Diverse World, Universal Human Rights”, underscores the universal nature of human rights. The election will take place at the UN General Assembly in October 2021.
Finland invests in climate diplomacy ahead of summits
The year 2021 will be a “super year” for climate change and biodiversity. Finland's own ambitious climate objectives are internationally credible and open up plenty of opportunities. Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto and Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari discuss the prospects.
UN Committee on the Rights of the Child underlines the primacy of the child’s best interests in a Finnish asylum case
On 4 February 2021, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child adopted its Views on the primacy of the best interests of the child in a matter concerning asylum. The Committee found that there had been violation of Articles 3 (primacy of the best interests of the child), 19 (protection of the child from violence) and 22 (right of the child to protection and humanitarian assistance; refugees and asylum seekers) of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).