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Finland’s Neogames industry body weighs in on controversial new immigration law

The latest proposed reforms continue to draw strong criticism from companies who rely on foreign talent
Finland’s Neogames industry body weighs in on controversial new immigration law

Neogames, the industry body representing the Finnish games industry, has weighed in on - and heavily criticised - new immigration reforms being proposed by the country’s ruling party.

The new laws include a raft of measures, with many criticising a particular section which dictates that any foreign professional unemployed for more than three months may face deportation. The proposals have already brought heavy criticism from industry veterans such as Supercell’s Ilkka Paananen.

Neogames' opposition is perhaps best summed up with the following extract from their statement on their website. “Many Finnish companies have invested thousands of euros to attract and relocate high-earning experts to Finland. Instead of helping to retain these top taxpayers in Finland after the layoffs, the new government plans to push them to search for new jobs in countries that offer greater administrative stability and security for themselves and their families.”

Hostile to foreign talent?

Notably, Neogames takes a measured approach and praises some new initiatives such as improving eGovernment services, making education more accessible in English and reforming taxes on immigration related costs. However, they take issue with those meant to curb immigration, which has been a key aim of the current ruling coalition in Finland which consists of the far-right Finns Party and centre-right National Coalition Party.

Although the reforms are currently in the proposal stage, there have already been protests by foreign professionals in a variety of industries including IT and medicine. The concern is that not only will the proposed measures dissuade current professionals, but will also make Finland actively hostile to those bringing their talents to the country. Although game development is only one facet of a number of industries concerned about the effect on foreign professionals, it does reflect that many of these industries are acutely fearful of the effect this could have on their wellbeing and continued health at a time of macroeconomic uncertainty.