International residents is a growing group in Helsinki, which is close to one-fifth of the city’s population. It is also an important group in developing the city. Helsinki has a program to develop English-language services (*), yet many international residents find it difficult to find all the information they need in English. The need is greater than ever in times of the global pandemic when situation and regulations change rapidly.
It is time for Helsinki to adopt English as an official service language. The declaration should come with a service promise to provide all services needed by the residents in English. This will enhance the appeal of the city and attract more international experts and companies.
Recently, Helsinki launched the welcome.helsinki website. It is a stepping stone to create a portal for the English-speaking residents & visitors (**). The site will enhance the integration of the international community to the city and it fulfills the need of a centralized English language information center.
Join me for a virtual town hall meeting where I would like to hear your opinion and experience of English-language services. Link to the meeting:
(*) Development Agenda for English-language services in Helsinki: https://www.hel.fi/static/kanslia/Julkaisut/2019/Development_Agenda_for_the_English-Language_Services_in_Helsinki.pdf
(**) Welcome to Helsinki: https://welcome.helsinki/