Finnish government drops immigration as strategic research theme for 2024

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THE OFFICE of Prime Minister Petteri Orpo (NCP) on Thursday communicated that the government has selected two strategic research themes for next year: the future of democracy, and water as an element of welfare, security and peace.

The government has earmarked around 56 million euros for research on the themes for 2024.
The decision marks an unprecedented deviation from what had become established practice, according to Helsingin Sanomat. The Strategic Research Council in June proposed that the themes for next year be water as an element of welfare, security and peace, and future interactions between immigration, work and welfare – with democracy as the overarching focal point.

The government will, though, continue to prepare immigration as a strategic research theme for 2025.

Helsingin Sanomat in November reported based on information it has obtained that the government plans to reject the theme proposal. While the Finns Party had initially expressed its objection to the proposal on grounds that the programme did not pay enough attention to the negative characteristics of immigration, the postponement was approved by all four ruling parties.

The postponement marks the first time the government has rejected the theme proposal in the 10-year history of the council, the newspaper wrote. Although the government makes the decisions on funding the research projects based on their perceived societal significance, impact and scientific quality, thus far the themes have been presented by the scientific community.
The government defines strategic research as long-term, problem-focused and scientifically high-quality research that promotes the development of social policy and social functions with the goal of tackling major societal challenges and problems.