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Growth services. Photo: Mari Hohtari.

Mayors of Helsinki Metropolitan Area propose a solution for growth services

The mayors of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area propose a solution for the organization of the area’s growth services that would be independent from any national solution. Growth services are services related to employment, the economy and immigration. According to the proposal, these services should be organized by one actor and the optimal administrative model for the services would be a metropolitan-area municipal alliance.

The mayors made their joint proposal as a response to the Finnish Government, which announced in October 2016 that it was prepared to negotiate with the Helsinki Metropolitan Area municipalities about a possible independent solution for the organization of growth services.

The responsibility for the organization of growth services would lie with a metropolitan-area municipal alliance for growth services. The members of this alliance would be the cities of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Other municipalities of the Uusimaa region would be able to join the alliance if they so decided. Non-member municipalities would be entitled to participate in decision-making in matters affecting them.

The mayors argue for the proposal with the differing conditions in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and Uusimaa from the rest of the country. Matters related to immigration and the labour market speak in favour of the independent solution. The share of immigrants in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area population is multiple compared with the rest of the country.

The model based on one actor responsible for organizing services would be administratively straightforward, and it would enable the coordination of the services effectively and in a customer-oriented manner.

The mayors propose that further preparation should be begun without delay on the basis of the independent solution and the municipal-alliance model. This would require cooperation among various governmental and Uusimaa actors. The mayors’ proposal will be discussed by the city boards of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen in the next few weeks.