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.
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.
Limited reception of residence permit applications to resume in Finnish missions abroad
Due to the coronavirus epidemic, Finland suspended the reception of ordinary visa and residence permit applications starting on 19 March 2020. The reception of ordinary visa applications continues to be suspended but activities relating to residence permit applications were gradually resumed in the missions on 16 June 2020.
Finland suspends the reception and processing of ordinary visa and residence permit applications in the missions
Owing to the coronavirus outbreak, Finland, in line with the rest of the Schengen countries, has suspended the reception of normal visa applications in Finland’s missions with immediate effect from 19 March until further notice.
Changes in Finland’s network of diplomatic missions
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is making changes to Finland’s network of diplomatic missions as part of the central government’s savings. The changes arise from decisions to cut the Ministry’s appropriations for operating expenses. The embassies of Finland in Luxembourg, Bratislava (Slovakia) and Ljubljana (Slovenia) will be closed by the end of 2015.
Foreign Minister Tuomioja to Brussels, Kyiv and Warsaw
This week, Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja will participate in the NATO/ISAF meeting in Brussels, Belgium, on 4 December and the OSCE Ministerial Council in Kyiv, Ukraine, on 5–6 December. On 6 December, the Minister will meet Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Radosław Sikorski in Warsaw and attend the Independence Day receptions held by Finnish Embassies in both Kiev and Warsaw.
Foreign Minister Stubb to attend the Annual Meeting of Belgian Ambassadors
Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb will visit Brussels on 26 January. The Foreign Minister will give a speech at the Annual Meeting of Belgian Ambassadors. He will also have bilateral talks with the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Steven Vanacker.