Nordic co-operation on integration and inclusion

Policy brief of the Centre of Expertise in Immigrant Integration explores political participation of immigrants


1 Dec 2022

The number of immigrants in Finland continues to grow. However, their turnout in elections and participation in politics is much lower than among the native-born Finnish people. A new policy brief of the Centre of Expertise in Immigrant Integration of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment presents ways to strengthen the political participation of people with a foreign background.

A new policy brief of the finnish Centre of Expertise in Immigrant Integration examines the political participation of immigrants. The policy brief 2/2022 Kotona politiikassa: keinoja tukea Suomeen muuttaneiden poliittista osallisuutta has been written by Hanna Wass, Docent of Political Science at the University of Helsinki.

Foreign citizens may only vote in local elections in Finland. The voter turnout of immigrants is clearly lower than that of native-born voters. However, political participation varies considerably between different groups.

Right to vote increases political activeness

According to research, the right to vote plays a significant role in the development of political participation. Granting immigrants the right to vote quickly after immigration may encourage both voting and other political activeness. Correspondingly, a limited right to vote may reduce interest in voting in elections even when this right exists.

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