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New strategy on expatriate Finns takes better account of the needs of Finns living abroad

Ministry of the Interior
Publication date 13.12.2021 10.36
Press release 157/2021
Strategy on Expatriate Finns 2022–2026.

Today, on 13 December, the Ministry of the Interior published the Strategy on Expatriate Finns 2022–2026. The Strategy sets objectives and actions to respond to the service needs of expatriate Finns and to make better use of their expertise.

Approximately 300,000 Finnish citizens live outside the country. According to some estimates, the number of people with a Finnish descent is up to 1.6–2 million worldwide. 

“With this new Strategy on Expatriate Finns, we want to strengthen the contacts of expatriate Finns with Finnish society and their inclusion. The Strategy’s actions aim to ensure that in future Finland is better able to serve its citizens regardless of time and place, and to support Finnish identity and culture abroad,” says Minister of the Interior Krista Mikkonen. 

The objectives and actions of the Strategy are related to:
•    coordinating the affairs of expatriate Finns in central government
•    developing communication by public authorities concerning expatriate Finns
•    promoting easy access to services provided by authorities for expatriate Finns
•    strengthening the Finnish identity, language, culture and nationality of expatriate Finns
•    making use of expatriate Finns in support of trade and industry, export promotion, research and sustainable development
•    strengthening the social participation of expatriate Finns
•    the attractiveness of return migration.

“Expatriate Finns have a lot of talent needed in the Finnish labour market, which is why we have wanted to ensure that those who are planning to return to their home country are able to do so as easily as possible,” the Minister continues.

Expatriate Finns involved in the preparation of the Strategy

The preparation of the new Strategy was guided by a desire to hear views of expatriate Finns and engage them in the work. The Strategy is based, for example on information collected in workshops organised for expatriate Finns. In addition, the resolutions of the Finnish Expatriate Parliament held in summer 2021 were taken into account in the work.

The sources used in the preparation also included the results of the Migration Institute of Finland's extensive survey ‘Changing Nature of Being an Expatriate Finn’ and the report on the expatriate policies in reference countries prepared by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Working group to monitor strategy implementation

The Ministry of the Interior has a coordination role in central government related to the affairs of expatriate Finns. The Strategy on Expatriate Finns is a document of the Ministry of the Interior adopted by the Ministerial Working Group on Internal Security and Strengthening the Rule of Law in a written procedure.

The seven ministries that participated in preparing the Strategy will keep in contact and continue to monitor the implementation of the Strategy in the new governmental working group on expatriate Finns. The working group will meet annually under the leadership of the Ministry of the Interior and review how the measures have progressed. The Finland Society (Suomi-Seura ry) and the Migration Institute of Finland, both of which also participated in the preparation of the Strategy, will be consulted in the monitoring process. 

Based on the working group’s meeting, an annual webinar for expatriate Finns, coordinated by the Ministry of the Interior, will be planned and organised at the end of the year. In the middle of the strategy period, during the first half of 2024, the question how the implementation of the Strategy on Expatriate Finns has been progressing will be submitted to the Ministerial Working Group for discussion. The preparation of the next strategy will begin at the end of 2025.

Ask about the Strategy – join the presentation on 15 December

The Ministry of the Interior invites expatriate Finns and others interested in the subject to follow the presentation of the Strategy on Facebook Live on Wednesday 15 December at 13.00. Minister of the Interior Mikkonen will give the opening speech at the event. Senior Specialist Marja Avonius from the Ministry of the Interior and Executive Director Tina Strandberg from the Finland Society will present the Strategy and answer questions from the public at the event.

Questions about the Strategy, its preparation and implementation can be sent both during the broadcast and in advance via the Facebook event page.

Marja Avonius, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 668, [email protected] 
Tiina Kivinen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 50 566 1922, [email protected] (requests for interviews with Minister Mikkonen)