Finland

Political System

[1]        

Finland’s government consists of a parliamentary democracy and a multi-party political system. The country possesses a dual executive in which the President is head of state and the Prime Minister is head of government. There are three branches: The Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial Branches.

  • The Executive Branch: Power is shared between the President and the Prime Minister. The President is responsible for the direction of foreign policy as the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, and nominates government officials and judges. The Prime Minister is elected by Parliament, appointed by the President, and is responsible for all other government affairs not assigned to the President.

  • The Legislative Branch: This branch is unicameral, consisting of The Parliament (Eduskunta). This body is responsible for enacting legislation, approving the budget, ratifying treaties, and supervising the government. The Parliament must also approve government proposals.

  • The Judicial Branch: This branch consists of three tiers: First, the civil and criminal jurisdiction, which is comprised of the Supreme Court, six Courts of Appeal, and twenty-seven District Courts. Second, the administrative courts which handle litigation between individuals and the public administration. Finally, specialized courts aimed at specific realms (i.e. the Labour Court which handles cases between employers and their employees).


[1] "Political System of Finland." Legislative Council Secretariat (2013): 1-5. Web. 25 Feb. 2017.

Current Political Leaders (2016)

[1]

  • President: Sauli Niinisto, Conservative Party

  • Prime Minister: Juha Sipilä, Centre Party


    [1] "Finland Profile - Leaders." BBC News. BBC, 23 Apr. 2015. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.

National Statistics

[1]

  • Population: 5,498,211

  • Population Density: 18.04 persons per sq. km [2]

  • Land Area: 303,815 sq. km

  • Estimated per capita income: $41,800

  • Racial Breakdown: Finn 93.4%; Swede 5.6%; Russian 0.5%; Estonian 0.3%; Roma 0.1%; Sami 0.1%

  • Unemployment Rate: 1%[2]


  • [1] "The World Factbook: FINLAND." Central Intelligence Agency. Central Intelligence Agency, 12 Jan. 2017. Web. 25 Feb. 2017.

  • [2] “Population Density: Finland.” Trading Economics. IEconomics, 2015. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.

Refugee Resettlement Program History

[1]

  • 2003-2005: The Ministry of Labour worked with Ireland on the MORE (Modeling of National Resettlement Process and Implementation of Emergency Measures) project to produce models for resettlement for EU member countries.

  • 2004: Finnish Aliens Act establishes the quota for and procedures of resettlement.

  • 2006-2008: The Ministry of Labour partnered with Spain, Ireland, and Sweden to direct the MOST (Modeling of Orientation, Services, and Training Related to the Resettlement and Reception of Refugees) project. This was funded by the ERF and implemented with the UNHCR, ECRE, and the IOM in order to improve the integration process for refugees.

  • 2011: The Act on Integration outlines procedures for integration support for refugees arriving in the country.

  • 2012: The European Refugee Fund financed the VIPRO Project with the Ministry of Employment and the Economy in order to respond to declining spaces for refugees in the municipalities.

  • 2013-2014: Finland initiates the second phase of this project.


    [1] “Finland.” European Resettlement Network. ICMC Europe, 2013. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.

Refugee Resettlement Program Funding

The Finnish Integration Service (MIGRI) pays participating municipalities a sum of 6,845 euros for those under seven years of age and 2,300 euros for those older than seven years of age in order to cover accommodation costs. Refugees receive a monthly stipend of 674 euros, those families with children receive additional monetary support. However, these subsidies only occur for three years. Finland utilizes the European Refugee fund in order to finance the costs of resettlement. This fund is split between all EU member states, with the exception of Denmark.[1]


[1] “Finland.” European Resettlement Network. ICMC Europe, 2013. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.

Resettlement Data 2002-2014

Country of Origin

# Settled (2002-2014)

Afghanistan

1604

Armenia

4

Burundi

23

Cambodia

44

China

31

Chad

Côte d’Ivoire

13

Congo

34

Cuba

4

Democratic Republic of Congo

1064

Eritrea

124

Ethiopia

54

Georgia

3

Iran

1059

Iraq

1092

Jordan

1

Kyrgyzstan

5

Mauritania

8

Liberia

44

Myanmar

1565

Nepal

12

Palestine

13

Pakistan

39

Russian Federation

33

Rwanda

17

Sierra Leone

3

Sri Lanka

96

Somalia

150

Serbia and Kosovo

4

Sudan

769

Syria

432

Turkey

3

Unknown/Stateless

227

Uzbekistan

4

Vietnam

71

Yemen

3

[1]


[1] “Resettlement Statistics- Finland.” UNHCR Population Statistics. UNHCR, n.d. Wed. Feb. 2017.

Asylum Seekers Recognized

Country of Origin

2012

2013

2014

2015

Afghanistan

74

53

24

44

Angola

13

2

9

0

Azerbaijan

3

3

0

8

Bangladesh

3

1

0

0

Belarus

0

0

5

0

China

17

13

9

8

Cameroon

1

0

13

11

Côte d’Ivoire

0

4

0

0

DRC

12

3

5

7

Egypt

0

0

5

0

Eritrea

4

4

13

5

Ethiopia

6

14

0

6

Gambia

0

0

5

0

Ghana

4

4

0

0

Guinea

0

2

0

0

Honduras

1

0

0

0

Iran

84

71

77

41

Iraq

103

200

123

426

Kazakhstan

0

0

0

6

Lebanon

1

0

0

0

Libya

2

1

0

0

Morocco

0

2

5

0

Myanmar

3

0

0

14

Nigeria

5

3

0

0

Pakistan

1

8

0

7

Russian Federation

83

50

75

62

Rwanda

6

2

0

0

Sierra Leone

0

1

0

0

Sudan

1

4

0

0

Somalia

16

10

33

231

Sri Lanka

0

1

6

0

Syria

71

67

35

106

Tajikistan

0

1

0

0

Tanzania

0

1

0

0

Togo

1

0

0

0

Turkey

2

4

5

0

Uganda

3

4

0

0

Uzbekistan

0

1

0

0

Venezuela

4

0

0

0

Stateless

21

15

28

41

Unknown

7

5

9

0

Yemen

1

0

0

0

[1]


[1] “Asylum Seeker Statistics"- Finland.” UNHCR Population Statistics. UNHCR, n.d. Wed. Feb. 2017.

Resettlement Destinations

Refugees are resettled through Finland’s municipalities, each of which may voluntarily agree to a particular amount of refugees per year, as approved by local councils. 140 Finnish municipalities participate in this process. However, there are insufficient resettlement places due to high costs of accommodation, thereby leaving the annual quota of 750 refugees unfilled. As a result, many refugees plan to make their own accommodations rather than waiting in the reception center. However, this process has contributed to housing scarcity in the region. [1]


[1] “Finland.” European Resettlement Network. ICMC Europe, 2013. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.

Refugee Resettlement Diagram

[1]


[1] Jacobsson, Johanna, and Ann-Charlotte Sirén-Borrego. “Finland.” Know Reset (2013): 1-16. Know Reset. European University Institute, Apr. 2013. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.

Refugee Resettlement Overview

Beginning in 1985, Finland established an annual quota of 1,050 refugees, confirmed each year by the state budget. In order to qualify for refugee status, the person must meet the standards set in the 1951 Convention on Refugee Status and the additional criteria set by the country’s legislation. Resettlement takes place with the aid of the UNHCR in accordance with the 2004 Finnish Aliens Act.

Selection takes place through a series of personal interviews conducted by the Ministry of Labour, the Directorate of Immigration, and, occasionally, the Security Police. Decisions are made within two months of this process. Upon resettlement, refugees are granted both refugee status and a residence permit. Important information concerning refugees is forwarded to the receiving municipalities and refugees must undergo a cultural orientation program in order to facilitate the integration process.[1]


[1] “Finland.” European Resettlement Network. ICMC Europe, 2013. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.

Lead Resettlement Organizations & Government Ministries

Finnish Immigration Service (MIGRI)[1]

Established: March 1, 1995; Originally titled the Directorate of Immigration, but the name changed in January 2008

Funding: Funding is granted by the Asylum, Migration, and Integration Fund (AMIF). Additionally, in 2016, the EU granted the organization 5 million euros to support its mission.

Office Locations: MIGRI’s main office is located in Helsinki. The organization also has four regional offices for asylum based inquiries in Kainuu, Saimaa, Ouli, and Turku. Additionally, MIGRI has three regional offices pertaining to immigration in Oulu, Pudasjärvi, and Konnunsuo.

Responsibilities and Functions: MIGRI processes and determines cases related to immigration, residence, resettlement, and citizenship. As such, it processes applications, issues residence permits and legal documents, and determines the refugee quota. In order to accomplish such tasks, it works with several ministries, including the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Leadership and Contacts:

Director General: Jaana Vuorio

Deputy Director: Raimo Pyysalo

Partners and Affiliates:

European Migration Network

Ministry of the Interior

Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Website: http://www.migri.fi/

 

           

Centre for Economic Development, Transport, and the Environment[2]:

Established: 1 January 2010

Funding: The centers receive both grants from EU funds (EU Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund, European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development, and the European Fisheries Fund) along with national funding.

Office Locations: This organization is comprised of 15 total regional centers located in: Lapland, North Ostrobothnia, South Ostrobothnia, Central Finland, Pirkanmaa, Southwest Finland, Uusimaa, North Savo, Southeast Finland, Häime, Kainuu, North Karelia, South Savo, Ostrobothnia, and Satakunta. Their main office is located in Helsinki.

Responsibilities and Functions: Partners with municipalities and NGOs to prepare for large influxes of migrants. In doing so, the centers are responsible for promoting the development and maintenance of business/industry/labor, transportation, infrastructure, environmental regulations, and natural resources. They work directly with several ministries and are thus responsible for the tasks delegated to them.

Partners and Affiliates:

Ministry of the Environment

Ministry of Transport and Communications

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

Ministry of Education and Culture

Ministry of the Interior.

Regional Councils

 

Ministry of the Interior[3]

The Ministry of the Interior drafts legislation concerning issues of migration, guides the immigration administration, and oversees the Finnish Migration Service. The ministry is also responsible for representing Finnish migration policies in the EU.

            Website: http://intermin.fi/en/frontpage

 

Ministry for Foreign Affairs[4]

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs processes residence permit applications, issues visas, and determines citizenship.

            Website: http://formin.finland.fi/public/default.aspx?culture=en-US&contentlan=2

            

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment[5]

This ministry oversees the integration process and monitors labor migration alongside the Ministry of the Interior.

            Website: http://tem.fi/en/frontpage


[1] “About the Agency.” Migrationsverket. Finnish Immigration Service, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.

[2] “General.” Centres for Economic Development, Transport, and the Environment. Ely-Keesku, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.

[3] “Frontpage.” Sisäministeriö. Ministry of the Interior, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.

[4] “Activities and Objectives.” Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Ministry for Foreign Affairs, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.

[5] “Responsibilities.” Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.



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