The research finds that there are few measures in place to support the participation of immigrants in socio-political life and a lack of coordination of supportive efforts. The main reasons for this are: supporting participation in socio-political life is not seen as a public administrative task; and the need for supportive measures has been acknowledged, but many other measures related to social integration are considered to be of higher priority. Therefore, it can be said that measures to support immigrant participation in socio-political life have not yet found their place in the public administration, but the significance of the theme is widely acknowledged.


Immigrants living in Finland were asked for their views on participation in socio-political life. Three main factors contribute to the low degree of socio-political participation: insufficient language skills, lack of information on the Finnish political system and decision-making processes, and lack of interest. These three factors are connected in that insufficient language skills make it difficult to obtain information on decision-making processes and current themes, which in turn leads to a lack of interest in socio-political participation in general. Immigrants who had only recently come to Finland mentioned “the energy and time required by the social integration process” as a factor contributing to lack of interest in participation. Finnish society and civic organisations are seen as bureaucratic and acting in a top-down spirit, making their workings at times strange and difficult to piece together.