The Equality Challenge
Edited by Sonia Morano-Foadi and Micaela Malena
Chapter 10: Immigration policies in Finland: economic marginalisation and the residence-based welfare regime’s support for humanitarian migrants
The Nordic welfare regime, characterised as ‘state-centred’ and ‘social democratic’, is among the world’s most advanced welfare systems, even when evaluated in EU terms. It has been praised for social justice, not least as a result of its successful implementation of welfare ‘universalism’, wideranging support for participation in the labour market, ‘women-friendly’ characteristics, and support for the cause of equality between women and men. However, to what extent is this regime–so different from the liberal, market-led and conservative, community and family-led models that prevail in Anglo-Saxon, Continental and Southern Europe–as supportive when it comes to migration? To what extent are the Nordic countries ‘migrant-friendly’ in their dealings with non-Nordic persons, EU citizens, and third-country nationals (TCNs)? How do women migrants fare; and how successful have policies for work integration and universal welfare proved to be in these respects? Policies to promote migrants’ integration are among the central issues in globalising societies and in the midst of the current economic turmoil and increasing cultural hostility towards migrants. The endurance of the Nordic regime must be evaluated not only in terms of formal arrangements but factual outcomes as well.
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