Finland is planning to invest more than €18 million (approx. USD 20.77 million) in four different projects in a bid to improve border security and support the country’s visa policy. The funding, which is from the European Union’s instrument for border management and visas (BMVI), will be used to develop the surveillance capabilities of the Border Guard, information systems and the visa process. As informed by a news report in Schengen Visa
According to a statement of the Finnish Ministry of the Interior, the four projects benefiting from the project and the amount of funding are as follows:
- €14,196,307 (approx. USD1,56,01,741.39) to improve the border guard’s ability to conduct surveillance at the sea
- €1,272,271(approx. USD 13,98,225.83) for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to develop the visa process and the visa system
- €613,000 (approx. USD6,73,663.09) for implementing the changes that arise from the amendment of the VIS regulation
- €2,855,254 (approx. USD 31,37,812.79) for the Migration Agency to fulfill the obligations according to the revision of the VIS regulation and the IO regulation at Finnish Immigration Service – Migri
Regarding the first project, the Ministry points out that the country’s sea border guard will use a part of its funding to buy a new patrol ship, and other surveillance equipment.
As per the €1.9 million (approx. USD 2.09 million) that has been granted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, €1.27(approx. USD 1.40 ) of them will be used for the development of a project that will improve customer orientation, efficiency, security and independence of the visa process.
The remaining €613,000 (approx. USD 6,73,674.74) granted to the MFA will be used to implement the changes necessary to comply with the amended Visa Information System (VIS) regulation.
“The project develops the functions of the visa information system so that the system can meet the requirements of the revised EU regulations, effectively support the application procedures and make it compatible with the EU Central Visa Information System (CVIS) and other comprehensive information systems within the EU,” the Ministry statement says.
It further points out that through the same project it will be made possible to streamline the background checks of visa applicants and to register residence permits and National D visas in the VIS.
And finally, almost three million (€2,855,254) will be granted to the Finnish Immigration Service – Migri, in order for the same to fulfill the obligations according to the revision of the VIS regulation, as well as to meet the requirements in connection with the revision of the EU regulation on the information system for visas and the interoperability between the information systems.
The total amount allocated for border security and improved visa policy in Finland is about €78 million, €43.9 million of which have been made available up until now. The procedures for the allocation of the rest are expected to begin in autumn 2023.