Strengthening the English language’s role in Finland’s public services does not contradict the aim of encouraging foreigners to learn Finnish.

Finland offers several advantages that attract foreigners to live here. Finland’s safety and exceptional education system, particularly its highly regarded primary schools, are major draws. Foreigners are often surprised by the sight of young children independently taking public transportation to school, something uncommon in many places.

Despite these strengths, Finland faces intense competition for skilled workers, who often come with families and seek quality education for their children. The Green Sisu actives have recently discussed the possibility of Finnish public organisations and, especially the big cities, offering English-language services to improve Finland’s attractiveness to top talent from abroad.

Green Sisu member Natalie Rincon defended on morning television the position that English should be made the official language in Finland. Read Natalie’s LinkedIn posting about the topic.

Image preview

In the May 2024 party council meeting, the Greens discussed and approved a new policy programme for the big cities (Vihreiden ohjelma suurille kaupungeille). Antti ‘Jogi’ Poikola, the Green Sisu chair kept the following speech in the party council (see the speech on YouTube):

Finland is becoming increasingly diverse, with over 600,000 foreign-language speakers calling it home–a number that is only set to grow.

It is important to remember that foreigners living in Finland have the right to vote in municipal elections. Every person entitled to vote in municipal elections is also eligible to run as a candidate.

Most foreigners in Finland live in the big cities. Cities are also in a key position to attract professionals from abroad and make them want to stay.

Big cities can and should offer services also in English, including English-language early childhood education.

I brought this message in my role as the president of Green Sisu the English-language green association.