Government integration programme outlines areas of focus for integration in the coming years
The Government Integration Programme includes areas of focus, objectives, measures, responsibilities and resources for integration for the period 2016–2019. The Government approved the programme on 8 September 2016.
The goal of the Government Integration Programme is to promote equality and ensure that the knowledge and skills of immigrants benefit Finnish society. By means of an effective initial stage of integration and cooperation between authorities and stakeholders, efforts are made to ensure a smooth transition for immigrants into, for example, studies or working life.
Four programme focus areas
The Government Integration Programme is aimed at four focus areas, which are based on the Government Programme. The focus areas include a total of nearly 70 measures. Contained within each focus area are also those measures which will respond to the integration challenge posed by the increased number of asylum seekers.
The focus areas are as follows:
1. Using immigrants' cultural strengths to enhance Finnish innovation capacity
The objective is to utilise the knowledge and skills of trained immigrants and those foreign students who graduate from Finnish institutes of higher education and to promote career advancement in Finnish labour market, business growth, and internationalisation.
2. Enhancing integration through cross-sectoral measures
The conditions for integration of immigrants are established in the early stages. The objective is to equip people with the required resources for continued training and working life, to improve immigrants’ position in the labour market, to ensure the provision of multi-profession support to immigrant families, and to support immigrants’ participation in leisure activities.
3. Increasing cooperation between the State and municipalities in the reception of beneficiaries of international protection
The objective is that the placement into municipalities of quota refugees and asylum seekers that have received a residence permit takes place within two months of notification of the granting of the residence permit, and that the integration process begins immediately.
4. Promoting a humane national discussion culture that will not tolerate racism
The objective is that discussion about immigration be carried out openly and in a manner that respects human dignity. Official forums will also be created for dialogue between authorities and immigrants.
Government Programme and Integration Act provide background framework
The programme’s focus areas are based on the migration policies of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s Government Programme. The measures are to be carried out within the framework of the Budget, central government spending limits and local government spending restrictions.
The Government Integration Programme is based on the Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration. According to this Act, the Government decides on national integration development by drawing up a Government Integration Programme every four years. The first integration programme was finalised in 2012.
Special Adviser to the Minister of Justice and Employment Sakari Puisto, tel. +358 46 923 4915
Migration Director Sonja Hämäläinen, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7112
Senior Adviser for Legal Affairs Juha-Pekka Suomi, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7122