Leading Finnish startups have sharply criticized the new right-wing government’s plans on jobs and migration, saying they threaten the country’s entire startup ecosystem.
In its program, the new government emphasizes that “labor immigration is very important for Finland’s economic growth and security of services”. But due to controversial policy changes in many areas, including immigration, startups have already voiced their concerns.
In a statement from the Finnish startup community, which includes companies like Supercell and Wolt, they accuse the government program of creating “a significant threat to the entire Finnish startup ecosystem” and undermining the growth prospects of the economy. According to the press release, skilled workers are hesitant to come to Finland while those already there are considering leaving.
Particularly worrying, according to the community, is the government’s proposed provision forcing migrants to leave Finland if they do not find a new job within three months of their dismissal. The time frame is considered too short to find a position corresponding to their skills, complete interviews and sign a new contract.
The group also deplores the government’s proposal to increase the compulsory residence period for obtaining a permanent residence permit from four to six years.
The proposal that applicants for permanent residence must demonstrate sufficient language skills to obtain a permanent residence permit has also been criticized, although startups have stressed that qualified professionals operate primarily in English.
Instead of new restrictions, the Finnish startup community is urging the government to turn to France, which has the largest startup ecosystem in Europe. In France, the system has been streamlined and centralized to allow the smooth entry of skilled labor.
However, all hope may not be lost for Finnish startups.
“Concerns about immigration have already been heard,” Jarkko Nissinen, assistant to new MP Aura Salla (NCP), who headed the Meta public policy team in Brussels, said on Tuesday evening.
(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)