The Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration (hereinafter, the Integration Act) aims to strengthen immigrants’ employment, capacity to work and language skills, and to increase their participation in society. Another objective of the Act is to promote equality, non-discrimination and positive interaction between different population groups.
The current Integration Act has been amended (comprehensive reform of Integration Act, KOTO24) to meet the requirements of Parliament regarding the promotion of immigrant integration (Report of the Audit Committee).
Parliament has required:
- improving speed and efficiency of integration measures starting when the immigrant arrives in Finland
- transferring the overall responsibility for integration services to municipalities
- promoting the employment of immigrant women
- improving the quality of language education and tests
- considering the needs of companies
- increasing the role of the third sector and liberal adult education.
In addition, several changes have either taken place in the operating environment already or are currently under preparation (for example, wellbeing services counties, health and social services reform, TE services reform 2024). These reforms will have an impact on the authorities’ responsibility for promotion of integration. Parliamentary requirements and the changed operating environment will be taken into account in the reform of the Integration Act.
The reform of the Integration Act (KOTO24) aims to:
- strengthen the integration of immigrants who are outside the labour force
- clarify the responsibilities of different bodies
- strengthen multi-sectoral cooperation and cooperation with organisations and employers
- update the Integration Act to respond to the needs caused by the transfer of official duties.
The new Integration Act (681/2023) will enter into force on 1 January 2025 at the same time as the TE services reform.