Astrid Thors, Finland’s Minister of Immigration, believes there are immigrant needs that must be addressed. Her nation, most probably for the first time in its history, is witnessing a large scale immigration of people from Africa and other parts of the world. She believes there are gaps in services provided immigrants. Immigrants require more information about Finland as a nation and its culture, and the issue of language remains significant in determining success as an immigrant. Finland’s Constitution makes Finnish and Swedish the two national languages because of their historical development.
Minister Thors points out Finnish law does not make immigrants eligible for state supplied education or provide teaching students from the same ethnic group, there must be mixed groups for education. She has received numerous complaints from immigrants about their inability to obtain language education. She expressed concern that Finland has the highest level of unemployed immigrants of any EU nation.