Agreement extended between the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Emergency Response Centre Agency – Foreign Ministry’s Consular Service Centre assists travellers in emergencies
In April, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Emergency Response Centre Agency signed an agreement, according to which the Emergency Response Centre Agency will continue to provide the Foreign Ministry’s round-the-clock services for Finnish citizens. Based on an agreement between the Ministry and the Emergency Response Centre Agency, the Agency has been responsible for the Ministry’s 24/7 consular services for Finnish citizens in difficulties abroad since 1 August 2018. The function is a part of the Foreign Ministry’s services for travellers as provided for in the Consular Services Act and the Security Strategy for Society.
Finnish citizens or foreign nationals with a permanent residence in Finland can get 24/7 advice and assistance from the Ministry when in distress or difficulties abroad due to an illness, accident or disaster or if they fall a victim of crime, for example. Consular services consist mainly of provision of advice and, if necessary, further assistance by the Finnish embassy or consulate in the country in question or by the Ministry’s Unit for Consular Assistance. Customers can contact the 24/7 Consular Service Centre by phone, email or Nettikonsuli on Facebook.
“In the past nearly two years, the cooperation with the Emergency Response Centre Agency has been very efficient. In addition to its domestic services, the Agency has handled the duties relating to assistance of travellers abroad in a professional and high-quality manner. We are also developing the services all the time, aiming at a smooth and well-targeted service from the customer's point of view,” says Antti Putkonen, Director of the Unit for Consular Assistance at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Jyrki Heinonen, Chief of Command and Control Centre at the Emergency Response Centre Agency, is also satisfied with the cooperation.
“We can help Finnish citizens both in Finland and abroad. Now that representatives of two administrative sectors are collaborating in the same place, we are able to speed up the provision of assistance to persons in distress. The trial phase has proved that collaboration between various authorities can be organised in a cost-effective and customer-oriented manner.”
Last year, the Command and Control Centre of the Emergency Response Centre Agency responded to nearly 7,000 requests of assistance related to consular services.
“After the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe, requests for advice and assistance multiplied. However, the situation is now getting settled,” Heinonen says.
Emergency Response Centre Agency
Chief of Command and Control Centre
tel. +358 295 481 293
The Emergency Response Centre Agency’s email addresses are in the format [email protected]
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Director, Unit for Consular Assistance
tel. +358 295 350 636
The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format [email protected]