It is very easy to complain about why Finland should be reticent or more open about foreigners moving to the country to plug the ever-growing labor shortage and arrest the aging process of the Finnish population.
If I could lay the foundations of Finland’s new immigrant policy, I’d make the following recommendations:
1) Decide once and for all that Finland needs foreigners.
2) Accept that foreigners are a POSITIVE matter for Finnish society. Finnish culture — like the cultures the foreigners represent as well — will benefit and grow by living in the same country in a society that has become a beacon of hope for many down-trodden countries. The success — not the marginalization — of a foreigner will benefit Finland.
3) Some Finns’ views that integration is a one-way street is the surest way to create a society of insiders and outsiders. This will undermine Finland. Finnish culture and society has the means to inspire other national groups to take part in it.
4) As a result of the foreigners and especially their children and grandchildren, Finnish culture will enrich itself as a result. It will become stronger.
5) Foreigners, like Finns, have to be given opportunities to grow and develop. Like Martin Luther King said: a person should be weighed by his character NOT by his skin color. Like Finns, foreigners have the ability to bring new ideas. New ideas work if they are effective and successful.
6) Since the above-mentioned factors are in short supply these days — albeit changing slowly — there has to be a totally different view and attitude to the mindset. Without them we will fail miserably.