Glossary of integration harmonises the use of concepts of the Integration Act and services

Publication date 22.6.2021 11.40 | Published in English on 23.6.2021 at 16.56
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The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has published a glossary of integration, which harmonises the use of concepts of the Integration Act and services specified by it. The complete glossary is currently available only in Finnish.  The publication of the glossary is a starting point to a broader evaluation of integration and immigration concepts. The discussions on concepts are to continue at events for different target groups in the autumn and with the reform of the Integration Act. 

The work on the glossary has focused on defining concepts related to the Integration Act (Act on the Promotion of Immigration Integration) and key integration services. Concepts of equality, inclusion and discrimination have also been included in the glossary.

The terms have been evaluated from the perspective of equality: do the concepts promote equality or reduce it?  Based on the evaluation, the term maahanmuuttanut has been added to the glossary alongside the term maahanmuuttaja. The first term clearly indicates a person who has moved to the country. According to the glossary, the term maahanmuuttaja should not be used when referring to persons presumed to be immigrants, for example on the basis of their name, appearance or mother tongue.

Promoting the receptiveness of society also promotes integration

In the glossary, the concept of kotoutuminen is defined as an individual process by each immigrant that occurs in interaction with society and during which the immigrant’s participation, inclusion and equality in society will increase. The concepts of kotoutuminen and yhteiskunnan vastaanottavuus describe a two-way process.

The term kotouttaminen has been replaced with the term kotoutumisen edistäminen. The term kotouttaminen is not recommended as the term can be interpreted to mean that an immigrant is only an object of activity and does not have an active role in integration. 

Work on glossary to continue

In particular, the work on concepts of personal roles will continue in cooperation with stakeholders, such as various organisations and the Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations (ETNO). 
The work on the glossary will also be carried out as part of the development of key integration services: New concepts may be added to the glossary in connection with the reform of the Integration Act and services promoting integration. 

Multisectoral working group produced the glossary

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Finnish Terminology Centre launched the project on integration glossary in August 2019. The working group preparing the glossary included representatives of the Ministry of Justice (ETNO), ELY Centres, TE Services, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Family Federation of Finland, Finnish National Agency for Education, and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The working group met several times to discuss the glossary in 2019–2021. 

Comments on the glossary were accepted at on 16 December 2020–27 January 2021. Altogether 41 comments were received and they were addressed by the working group in spring 2021.

The glossary has been published as a first edition in Finnish and it includes Swedish-language equivalents. Translations of definitions and notes into Swedish will be added to the glossary in August.

More information:

Press release on the integration glossary by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment on 22 June 2021 
Integration glossary

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