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Tasks of the authorities

Local-level integration work is carried out on a cross-administrative basis

Promotion of immigrant integration involves cooperation between different government agencies. The obligation to participate in multi-sectoral cooperation is laid down in the Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration.

The following actors take part in the cooperation:

  • municipalities
  • Employment and Economic Development Offices (TE Offices)
  • The police
  • organisations, associations and other entities.

Promotion of immigrant integration at local level is the responsibility of municipalities and TE Offices, and other authorities may also take part in the process. Integration may also be carried out in cooperation between municipalities.

Under the Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration, municipalities and other local-level authorities must support internationalisation, gender equality and non-discrimination at local or regional level and promote positive interaction between different population groups. The actions through which the objectives of the act may be promoted include developing diverse urban and service structures, offering suitable venues for activities and preventing the segregation of immigrants in their own living areas. The needs of the immigrant population and the promotion of integration must also be considered in the general planning, activities and monitoring carried out by municipalities and other local-level authorities.

Good ethnic relations and inter-cultural dialogue allow all residents to have a pleasant and safe living environment. In order for two-directional integration to be successful, immigrant groups must feel included and be provided with opportunities to preserve their own language and culture. This requires cooperation, not only between the authorities but also with other stakeholders.

Under the Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration, a municipality or municipalities may establish a local advisory board with local labour market, entrepreneur and non-governmental organisations.  The task of the advisory board is to plan and develop the promotion of immigrant integration and enhance ethnic relations.

A municipality and a TE Office may also conclude local or regional cooperation agreements on providing measures and services in their areas.

Monitoring, supervision and development take place at regional level

Tasks related to the monitoring, supervision and development of immigrant integration are carried out at regional level. Important actors include the ELY Centres, the Regional State Administrative Agencies and Regional Councils. Regional organisations and a number of different projects are also involved in regional integration work.

The Government Integration Programme sets out the goals for development at national level

The Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration contains a provision on outlining national-level work promoting immigrant integration. Under this section, the Government must prepare the Government Integration Programme for four years at a time. The programme sets out the goals for developing integration at national level.

The Government Integration Programme is prepared by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. Each of the ministries playing a central role in the promotion of immigrant integration determines the objectives and measures concerning the development of integration for its own administrative branch as part of its operational and financial planning.

The Government Integration Programme is funded from the Budget.

The Government resolution on the first Government Integration Programme was adopted in 2012.

Read more:
Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration (finlex.fi)
Government Integration Programme