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Lowest-ever asylum pleas received in 2017

14 Mar 2018, 02:03 ( 14 Mar, 2018) | updated: 14 Mar 2018, 07:50 ( 14 Mar, 2018)

DF Report
Asylum seekers at a class room of a refugee centre in Turku. DF File Photo.

The Finnish Immigration Services (Migri) received the lowest-ever number of new asylum applications last year, said an official press release.

The number of new asylum application was 2,173.

A total of 1,854 subsequent applications were made, and 1,061 asylum seekers arrived in Finland under the EU relocation scheme. A total of 5,060 persons applied for asylum in 2017.

As the number of asylum seekers dropped significantly in 2017, the costs generated by their reception also decreased. In 2017, the number of asylum seekers within the reception system decreased by one-third from about 19,300 persons to about 13,300 persons. 

The costs were 282 million euros compared to 619 million euros in 2016.

A number of reception centres were closed and the capacity of the still operational centres was reduced. At the beginning of 2017, about 16,700 beds were available, the number of which declined to about 10,200 at the end of the year.

At the beginning of last year, 77 reception centres were in operation and at the end of the year 48. The number of units for unaccompanied minors decreased from 49 to eight in 2017.

The goal set for the national average cost of accommodation per day was clearly undercut in 2017: the average cost was about 55 euros per day (including VAT), when the goal was 60 euros per day. 

The average cost went down to approximately the same level as before 2015. The average cost includes all costs of the reception centres, such as rent of facilities and property maintenance, employees’ salaries, material costs and services, as well as the reception allowance paid to the residents.

In 2017, the agency completed a pilot tendering of reception centre operations for adults and families in the Uusimaa region. This led to the establishment of a new reception centre in Raseborg. The tendering model will be refined according to the acquired experiences and it will be extended to apply to the whole country in 2018.