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Government proposes amendments to Integration Act to secure services for those fleeing Ukraine

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 1.7.2022 11.50
Press release

The Government is preparing amendments to the Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration so that municipalities and wellbeing services counties would be reimbursed for the costs they incur for organising services to beneficiaries of temporary protection who have been granted a municipality of residence.

About 29,000 people who have fled Ukraine due to Russia’s war of aggression have already applied for temporary protection in Finland. The Ministry of the Interior estimates that 40,000–80,000 Ukrainian refugees will arrive in Finland by the end of this year. Due to Russia’s war of aggression, Finland is applying the temporary protection regime for the first time. The Government therefore proposes to amend the Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration (Integration Act). 

Because those receiving temporary protection usually do not have a municipality of residence, they are mostly covered by reception services. However, they may be granted a municipality of residence in spring 2023 after they have resided in Finland for one year. At that point, the role of municipalities and other authorities in organising the services will increase. The current Integration Act does not allow the State to compensate municipalities and wellbeing services counties for services provided to beneficiaries of temporary protection. 

Costs to be compensated similarly as for beneficiaries of international protection

In order to ensure the provision of services, it is proposed that the State compensate municipalities and wellbeing services counties for the provision of services for beneficiaries of temporary protection in the same way it compensates for services for beneficiaries of international protection.

It is also proposed that the provisions on assigning persons to municipalities would apply to those receiving temporary protection too. The proposal would also clarify the responsibilities of authorities for assigning persons to municipalities and amend the Act to better meet the current practice concerning the process of assigning persons to municipalities.

Compensation to be paid for unaccompanied minors too

The Government proposes that a child or young person who has arrived in Finland without a parent or guardian and who is a beneficiary of temporary protection receive housing and support services, similarly to a quota refugee who has arrived as an unaccompanied minor or a child or young person receiving international protection and that these costs would be reimbursed to the municipality and the wellbeing services county.

The government proposal will be circulated for comments on 1.7.–5.8.2022.

Inquiries:
Mira Karppanen, Chief Specialist, tel. +358 295 047 293 (1 July and from 8 August 2022)
Anna Bruun, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 048 254 (4–15 July and 1–5 August 2022)

*14.7. wording of the press release fixed

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