The Committee on Constitutional Affairs decided: The eastern border may be closed in exceptional circumstances

Should Russia launch a hybrid operation, all border crossing points at the eastern border could be closed by government decision.

 Committee on Constitutional Affairs decides: The border may be closed in exceptional circumstances

According to the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, the eastern border may be temporarily closed by a decision of the Government. Pictured is the Nuijamaa border checkpoint in Lappeenranta. Johannes Wiehn/[email protected] at 10:14 pm

The Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Affairs ruled on Wednesday that there are no obstacles to the temporary closure of border crossing points in exceptional circumstances. The line is much related to the question of whether the eastern border could in practice be closed in a situation where Russia would host thousands of asylum seekers at Finnish border crossings.

The majority of the committee accepted the view that a short-term full closure of the border could be possible in very exceptional circumstances. In a similar situation, the number or location of border crossing points can also be freely decided. However, the measures must be 'necessary' and the complete ban must be limited to 'absolutely necessary in time'.

The reform aims to prepare for possible hybrid operations.

Helsinki-Vantaa only

After a long twist, the government's proposal now allows, in addition to the complete closure of the eastern border, for asylum applications to be accepted in only one place in exceptional circumstances, such as Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.

According to the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, border crossing points and the centralization of asylum applications may be regulated in accordance with the ordinary law, for example, there are no exceptions.

In practice, it would be up to the Council of State to decide where to receive asylum applications and which border crossing points to close.

However, the Committee on Constitutional Affairs emphasized that centralizing asylum applications should not restrict anyone's right to international protection.

– The Committee also draws attention to the fact that in its decision-making, the Government is bound not only by national legislation but also by international human rights obligations binding on Finland. The Government must therefore ensure that a genuine and effective opportunity to apply for international protection remains in Finland even after the centralization, the committee's decision states.

Government parties cracked . Matias Honkamaa

However, the decision of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs was not unanimous and was put to the vote. This is very exceptional, as the committee usually tends to reach unanimous decisions where political lines are irrelevant. They were the Greens Outi Alanko-Kahiluoto and Bella Forsgrén , and the Left Alliance Anna Kontula . According to the troika, the committee did not provide sufficient justification for interpreting the border barrier.

The reform of the Border Guard Act has been the responsibility of Interior Minister Krista Mikkonen (Green) party MPs oppose the motion.

The new Border Guard Act also allows for the construction of a more robust fence on the eastern border and gives border guards the right to take possession of, for example, real estate or vehicles in return for compensation.

however, the ban on appeals related to the construction of the border barrier is not fully in line with the Constitution and still needs to be amended. Read also

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