Government Integration Programme
The Integration Act contains a provision on national policy on integration work (section 34). Under this section, the government draws up a Government Integration Programme containing the objectives of integration for four years at a time. The programme contains the goals for developing integration at national level.
The Integration Programme is prepared by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. Each one of the ministries playing a central role in 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 state budget.
The Government adopted a Government Integration Programme for 2016–2019 on 8 September 2016. This programme is based on four focus areas outline in Prime Minister Sipilä’s Government Programme:
- Using immigrants' cultural strengths to enhance Finnish innovation capacity;
- Enhancing integration through cross-sectoral measures;
- Increasing cooperation between the State and municipalities in the reception of beneficiaries of international protection;
- Promoting a humane national discussion culture that will not tolerate racism.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for the preparation of issues related to integration in Finland. Minister of Employment Jari Lindström is the minister responsible for integration affairs.
Under the Integration Act, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for
- the overall development, planning and steering of the integration policy;
- the coordination, assessment and monitoring of the integration policy and the promotion of good ethnic relations at national level.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment steers the ELY Centres in their tasks related to promoting integration and good ethnic relations.
Inter-ministerial integration cooperation group
In order to promote cooperation and exchanges of information between the ministries and to enable the coordination of their measures, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is assisted by a cooperation body, in which the ministries playing a key role in integration are represented.
The purpose of this group is to enhance the impact of integration by coordinating and improving the efficiency of national planning of integration, measures and guidance in the ministries that play a key role in integration.
The group’s tasks include
- to discuss integration policy aspects requiring joint discussion that concern different branches of administration
- to collect, evaluate and analyse data on integration and integration policy implementation to promote immigrant integration and enhance the impact of integration policy
- serve as a steering group for the drafting and monitoring of the Government Integration Programme.
The members of the cooperation group are high-level public officials from different ministries. The cooperation group has representatives from the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Department for Local Government and Regional Administration of the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of the Environment. The group is chaired by the Director General of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment’s Employment and Entrepreneurship Department.