Vitality policy as a tool to attract in-migration to rural regions
Avainsanat:migration, rural regions, vitality policy
New policy tools for attracting in-migration to rural regions are needed to counterbalance the global development trends favouring urbanisation. One such recent policy concept is that of “vitality policy” implemented in many Finnish municipalities. Vitality policy is a holistic development approach that aims at enhancing both the hard (related to traditional enterprise and industrial policy) and the soft factors (related to the wellbeing of citizens and communality) that shape the influx of migration to and from rural municipalities. Vitality policy also encourages municipalities to strengthen the horizontal cooperation between
different policy branches, as concentrating only on certain aspects of rural development, such as enterprise and industrial policy for creating jobs, does not suffice anymore to guarantee in-migration. As a recent policy tool, the actual impacts of vitality policy remain to be seen in the (near) future but according to interviews with municipal officials, those in charge of the strategic development work in rural municipalities are optimistic on the benefits of the approach.