The four political parties led by Kansallinen Kokoomus (National Coalition Party-NCP) on Friday published the program of the upcoming alliance government after holding negotiation talks for seven weeks at the House of Estate with the view to reshape economy.
Leaders of the conservative Kokoomus, radical rightist Perussuomalaiset (Finns Party), Suomenruotsalainenkansanpuolue (Swedish People’s Party of Finland-RKP) and the SuomenKristillisdemokraatit (Christian Democrats of Finland-CD) announced the programme from a press conference in the evening, which included tougher immigration, residence and citizenship laws.
According to the programme, Finland’s annual refugee quota will be reduced to 500 persons from the existing number of 1,050 people.
the Government will tighten the requirements for permanent residence saying that Finnish citizenship is not something that will be granted automatically. It will require successful integration.
The government will amend the requirements for obtaining a permanent residence permit and in future it will be possible to obtain a permanent residence permit based on a six-year period of residence subject to certain requirements in addition to the current requirements.
These additional requirements are sufficient language skills demonstrated in a language test, a two-year work history without recourse to unemployment security or social assistance other than for a very short period of time, and a stricter integrity requirement.
Rejected asylum applicants will be prevented from switching to a work-related immigration procedure. It will be possible to remove a person who has been refused asylum from the country even if they have obtained a job during the asylum process.
The income limit for a residence permit for an employed person will be raised to the sector-specific minimum of the collective agreement, however, to no less than EUR 1,600 per month.
A government press release issued on Friday said that the new government will build a strong and committed Finland – a well-functioning, safe and just society where opportunities for success and wellbeing are secured across generations and throughout Finland.
The Government will safeguard the future of the welfare society, ensure adequate services for all and promote the balanced development of the national economy.
The parties in government are united by a strong conviction that work and entrepreneurship lead to wellbeing. The government’s target is to boost the employment rate by 100,000 persons. The Government will make significant reforms to social security and the labour market so that it will be easier and more profitable to find employment or work as an entrepreneur. The Government will reform the legislation on working life to remove barriers to employment and, in particular, to strengthen the operating conditions of SMEs.
The government will invest in raising the level of competence and education in Finland and will increase investments in research and innovation.
The goal is to ensure that everyone completes at least an upper secondary qualification and that more young people also complete a higher education degree. The Government is committed to increasing Finland’s research and development (R&D) expenditure to four per cent of GDP by 2030.
The government will ensure opportunities for housing and mobility throughout Finland and will implement a transport investment programme of nearly EUR three billion. A viable countryside is vital for wellbeing in all parts of Finland. The Government will address the profitability issues facing agriculture and will create growth through sustainable forest policy.
The Government aims to ensure that Finland’s economy is on a stable footing by 2031. The goal is to strengthen general government finances by EUR six billion during this parliamentary term.
Read the excerpts of the government Programme here.