Municipality's integration programme
Under the Integration Act, a municipality or more than one municipality jointly shall draw up an integration programme. The purpose of this programme is to promote integration and multi-sectoral cooperation. The programme is approved by the municipal council of each municipality and reviewed at least once every four years. The programme is taken into account in connection with the drawing up of the municipality’s budget and financial plans.
The integration programme is a key tool for influencing the content of integration work. The programme should address all immigrants living in the municipality, regardless of their reasons for immigrating. The integration programme may be prepared for a municipality or a sub-region.
The municipality is responsible for drawing up the integration programme and initiating cooperation. The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre), the Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office), the Social Insurance Institution Kela and other authorities operating in the area of the municipality shall take part in the drawing up and implementation of the programme and the monitoring of its implementation in their own sectors.
Local immigrants’ organisations, non-governmental organisations, employees’ and employers’ organisations and religious communities may take part in the drawing up and implementation of the integration programme and the monitoring of its implementation.
It is the municipality’s responsibility to invite other local stakeholders playing a central role in integration to participate in the drawing up of the programme and monitoring its implementation. In particular, the municipality should promote the inclusion of immigrants living in its area and NGOs in the preparation of the programme.
Contents of the municipal integration programme
Under the Integration Act, the municipal integration programme may contain:
- A report on how the programme is linked with the strategic planning and monitoring of the municipality.
- A plan on how the general services provided by the municipality can be adjusted to the needs of the immigrants and on how measures promoting and supporting integration will be organised.
- Details of the municipal authority responsible for the coordination of the integration and parties responsible for the different measures.
- A plan on the promotion of the integration and social empowerment of children and young persons.
- A plan on the promotion of the integration and social empowerment of groups outside the workforce.
- A multi-year plan on the assigning of the persons to the municipality and on the promotion of integration.
- A plan on the promotion of good ethnic relations and a dialogue between cultures.
- A plan on the monitoring and updating of the municipal integration programme.
The forms of cooperation between the municipality and civil society may also be laid down in the municipal integration programme.
The municipality may also include other plans, measures and definitions that promote local integration in the programme.