Comment: Plans to tighten family reunification laws in Finland even further speak volumes about Conservative Party Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen’s government. What does it say? Fear of the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS) party, prejudice and lack of leadership to name a few.
It seems surreal but not abnormal during these times in Finland that a pro-family party like the Christian Democrats will spearhead the tightening of family reunification laws. Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen washes her hands of the whole issue by stating that this is not her wish but that of the government’s. They claim that they want to bring such laws in line with other Nordic countries.
According to MIPEX, Nordic policy is mixed on family reunification: Denmark has the strictest policy and Sweden is “slightly favorable,” with Norway and Finland being “halfway favorable.”
MIPEX writes: “The average EU country goes beyond the minimum definition of the family in the Directive. Most adopt slightly inclusive definitions of the family and only basic conditions for acquisition, out of respect for family life. In contrast, countries like Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, and France restrict the eligibility of family members and impose burdensome conditions on sponsors.”
If we look at the chart in the story below on reuniting non-EU family members other than spouses, partners, or children, we’re speaking of small numbers in the Nordic region: Sweden (229), Finland (197) and Denmark (0). Most family reunifications took place in 2010 in Italy (22,355), Portugal (10,038) and Spain (1,666).
So what is the issue? The issue is fear of the threat of the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS) party, prejudice and lack of leadership iced with lame excuses.
How can you grant a minor asylum but take away his or her right to be with his immediate family?
Where is our sense of justice and fairness?
By Thomas Huddleston
Does the EU Family Reunion Directive reflect how you would define a family? MPG’s analysis of MIPEX and Eurostat statistics reveals that immigrant’s parents, grandparents, and adult children are somehow entitled to reunite in most countries, but few can or do apply.