Ministry of the Interior determines objectives for Finland's comprehensive migration policy
Finland needs a migration policy that brings together the areas of responsibilities of different operators. On 30 June, the Ministry of the Interior set up a project to define long-term objectives for Finland’s comprehensive migration policy.
Migration has become a permanent part of growth and development in Finland, and it is expected to increase in the coming years. Migration policy therefore has an impact on society and how it develops.
The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for the overall migration policy in Finland. This is why the initiative for the project came from the Migration Department of the Ministry of the Interior.
“It is clear that Finland needs migration to continue to thrive. Many studies show that foreign workers, researchers, students and their family members play an increasingly important role in economic growth and the future,” says Harri Sivula, Ministerial Adviser.
Migration to Finland is also affected by various crises and conflicts. It is anticipated that the number of people in need of protection will continue to grow, and that people will continue to seek asylum in Europe and Finland in the future too. This means that there is a growing need for the reception of quota refugees and the development of complementary pathways for legal migration.
“Finland must be able to take its own needs and those of migrants into account in the best possible way. At this stage, we have a good opportunity to learn from the experiences of other countries. With a comprehensive migration policy, we can maximise the benefits of migration and minimise the problems caused by social exclusion and inequality,” says Anna Rundgren, Senior Specialist.
A comprehensive approach means cooperation and involvement of different operators
Finnish migration policy is based on the Government’s policy positions, the EU’s common migration and asylum policy and international agreements. At the moment, however, Finland does not have a migration policy programme that would set out common migration objectives of different sectors of society.
In central government, migration-related tasks are carried out in most ministries. Municipalities and organisations also have important responsibilities relating to immigrants and their integration.
With a comprehensive migration policy, the Ministry of the Interior wants to bring together the responsibilities of different operators and set uniform long-term objectives for them. This will be done through cooperation and experimentation with new methods. The Ministry of the Interior plays a coordinating role in the project.
“We will now be examining expectations of migration, areas for development in migration policy and the needs of both Finland and migrants. We want to engage in an active dialogue with various stakeholders and offer them opportunities to participate in and influence the work. In developing the methods of participation, we will be supported by the service design students of Laurea University of Applied Sciences,” says Mariana Salgado, Service Designer from the Ministry of the Interior.
Service design is based on the understanding of people's needs. It is useful, for example when it comes to involving different operators in the ministry's activities.
Views of stakeholders focus of a survey
Guidelines for the work have been obtained from a broad stakeholder survey carried out by the Migration Department of the Ministry of the Interior in spring 2021. In the survey, a broad and diverse range of societal actors were asked to give their views on, for example what kind of a migration policy Finland needs, what should be prioritised in the policy, and what concrete measures are required.
The next step is to compile the views of experts, authorities and researchers comprehensively in order to develop Finland's migration policy. Various workshops and webinars are being planned for the autumn.
The two-year project will run until 30 June 2023. A more detailed timetable for the project and the format of the final output will be specified as the preparation progresses.
Harri Sivula, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 488 623, [email protected]
Anna Rundgren, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 324, [email protected]
Mariana Salgado, Service Designer, tel. +358 295 488 385, [email protected]