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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
Digitalisation and 5G networks on agenda when Brazilian Communications Minister Fábio Faria visits Finland
Communications Minister of Brazil Fábio Faria will visit Finland on Friday 5 February 2021. His visit is part of a wider five-country tour that key Brazilian decision-makers undertake to survey potential 5G network suppliers in the world. Brazil is planning to organise an auction of 5G frequencies in spring 2021.
Finland strengthens its contribution to education in development cooperation
Finland strengthens its support for education in developing countries as a donor of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). At the virtual Educa goes digital event on Friday 29 January, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari informed that Finland will allocate EUR 25 million to GPE’s next replenishment for 2021-2025.
Minister Ville Skinnari participates in World Economic Forum panel on sustainable investments
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will participate in a panel discussion on sustainable investments, organised by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Friday 29 January. The annual WEF “Davos Agenda” is organised virtually from 25 to 29 January.
Finland continues to fund Syrian women’s peacebuilding efforts
Finland has granted a million euros to UN Women for its peacebuilding activities in Syria. The project, which is entitled Supporting Syrian Women’s Engagement in the Syrian Political Process: Building a Constituency for Peace, aims to support women’s engagement in and influence on political processes in Syria. The project runs from October 2020 until December 2021.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto to visit Ethiopia as the EU representative
High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell has mandated Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto to visit Ethiopia and its neighbouring regions as the EU representative. Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto will travel to the Horn of Africa within the next few weeks. During the visit he will discuss the situation in Ethiopia and its neighbouring regions and ways how the international community could provide support in finding peaceful solutions. The topics to be discussed also include the humanitarian situation in the National Regional State of Tigray in Ethiopia. The European External Action Service and Finland will communicate on the matter in more detail as the visit approaches.