Report: Multilingual civic orientation requires cooperation between municipalities

Publication date 25.1.2024 14.03 | Published in English on 25.1.2024 at 16.45
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Organising multilingual civic orientation cost-effectively requires cooperation between municipalities as well as cross-regional and national coordination. Orientation organised remotely or as hybrid events could help immigrants living in sparsely populated areas to participate in the instruction. A report commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment in May 2023 includes recommendations on how to implement the orientation in a high-quality and uniform manner across Finland.

As of 2025, multilingual civic orientation will become a statutory part of the municipal integration programme and municipalities will be responsible for organising it for integration clients. According to the report by Owal Group Oy, national support and investments in the learning materials and training of orientation instructors are required to organise and implement orientation.

Multilingual civic orientation should become a distinct part of municipal early-stage integration services and clients’ service paths, the report states. The report recommends that an approximate minimum number of sessions be defined for civic orientation across the country. 

Multilingual civic orientation provides immigrants with information on the Finnish society, living and working in Finland, and the rights and obligations of an individual. The orientation will take place in the immigrant’s mother tongue or in a language that the immigrant knows well. Civic orientation has already been implemented locally in varying extents earlier. 

Report supports preparation of multilingual civic orientation

In spring 2024, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment will prepare a government decree on the content and implementation of multilingual civic orientation. In accordance with the Government Programme, integration will be based on language learning, work, familiarisation with Finnish society and compliance with its rules. The report, which will be used in this preparation, will support municipalities in preparing and implementing civic orientation.

Multilingual civic orientation is part of the comprehensive reform of the Integration Act (KOTO24), which will enter into force at the beginning of 2025 when employment and integration services become municipal responsibilities. 

Laura Ruuskanen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 5047 283

Report on Options for Implementing Multilingual Civic Orientation (in Finnish with an abstract in English)
Comprehensive reform of the Integration Act (KOTO24) 

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