The aim of my initiative was to make visiting and living in Helsinki easier by improving the availability of services, opportunities for citizen participation, and internationality.  At the end of 2019, more than 106 000 Helsinki residents ( 16 percent) spoke non-domestic languages as their mother tongue (Tilastokeskus, 2019). In addition, overnight stays by foreign tourists have been increasing in Helsinki. In its strategy, Helsinki has set a goal to be the most
functional city in the world, easy to get to and good to live in. The Espoo City Council has approved a similar initiative for English as the language of contact. Therefore, I proposed that Helsinki should adopt English as its third language of contact and begin examining how this goal could be implemented in different activities in an appropriate manner. Helsinki has not fully implemented the goal, therefore we must continue working towards it.


Mari Holopainen

Member of Parliament, Green City Councillor

Candidate for the Helsinki city council in 2021 election

Photo Martiina Woodson