We took advantage of meeting with the vice mayor, responsible for migration, in Tampere, Olli-Poika Parviainen and host of the recent Integrating Cities conference to ask him about migration in the city.
Why is migrant integration relevant to Tampere?
The migrant communities that come to Tampere are a great resource to the city and so providing good services for migrants is important if and because we want them to feel at home here. Our economy needs variety of thought, our cultural services can benefit from diversity and most of all our democracy is dependent on participation and in order for the migrant communities to participate, we must offer them equal possibilities and tools for that.
What are the main challenges to migrant integration at city level?
The economy is tight for all services, including migrant services. We have a migrant education system but the need is larger than the capacity. We are doing ok but the lack of resources slows down the integration processes.
How is Tampere addressing these challenges? How can the EU help?
From the EU we can get fresh ideas and tools on how to improve our services and learn best practices. For example the ImpleMentoring project can benefit our health and welfare service planning.
Financial help from the EU is usually project-based, these projects can also be multiplied elsewhere to benefit other actors.