Tuesday, 18 August 2020
The current government’s programme is based on phenomenon based strategic objectives, which supports a cross-sectoral approach and aims at addressing interlinkages in an effective manner.
The work of the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development (FNCSD) is outlined and prepared by an inter-ministerial Secretariat, the Sustainable Development Coordination Network. The Secretariat is composed of the sustainable development focal points in the line ministries, each taking the lead in preparing themes within their area of expertise. The secretariat convenes 8-10 times a year and aims at enhancing policy coherence across the line ministries. The Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General of the Secretariat oversee the practical arrangements and manage funding for the National Commission’s work.
In four consecutive years, all Ministries have submitted their yearly reports to the Parliament on the policies and measures to achieve the SDGs in their respective policy branches. The national audit office reports that ministries increasingly incorporate the SDGs in their activities. They serve as the basis for strategies, but also as a benchmark for their own activities. However, there are differences between the ministries with regards to the extent of the integration of the SDGs. The report also states that more analytical assessment on the ecological, economic and social sustainability of the policy content is still missing.
The government has integrated sustainability aspects into the preparation of the state budget since 2018. Each administrative branch provides details about measures related to sustainable development. In 2019, a chapter entitled “Sustainable Development” was included in the General Strategy and outlook section. This chapter is especially focused on carbon neutrality goals.
Representatives from the line ministries are included in the National Follow-up and Monitoring network, ensuring that different aspects of sustainable development are reflected in choosing the indicators and measuring the progress. The network is chaired by the Prime Minister’s Office, and includes representatives from ministries, Statistics Finland, research institutions and various stakeholder groups. It meets 4-6 times per year and is in charge of the development, maintenance and revision of national monitoring framework and sustainability indicators.
The Finnish Parliament’s Committee for the Future has functioned as the parliamentary committee responsible for 2030 Agenda matters. The Committee for the Future prepares parliamentary replies, also known as committee reports on the 2030 Agenda, to the Government. The Committee also monitors the implementation of the measures required by Parliament in its reports by issuing resolutions on the Government’s Annual Reports and budget proposals in relation to the 2030 Agenda themes.
The Development Policy Committee is a multi-stakeholder body that was first appointed in 2003. Its key aim is to strengthen the effectiveness of development policy and to promote discussion on development policy at national and, in particular, parliamentary levels. All parliamentary parties and key stakeholders in development policy contexts are represented in the committee.