Economic Council of Finland
- Juha Sipilä
- Pekka Sinko
The Economic Council of Finland, chaired by the Prime Minister, is a body for facilitating co-operation between the Government, the Bank of Finland and major interest groups. The Economic Council aims to strengthen and deepen broad-based, analytical discussion prior to the taking of economic policy decisions relating to the growth, balance and structure of the economy.
Under a decision of Parliament, the Economic Council also acts as a forum for dialogue between the Government, the social partners and the Bank of Finland concerning the monetary policy of the European Central Bank.
The Council participates in cooperation among the EU Member States' economic and social councils.
The issues discussed by the Economic Council relate to the following subject matters:
- Changes in Finland's economic environment and the consequent challenges and difficulties in adjusting to them.
- Efficient use of national economic resources and ways of ensuring medium and long-term competitiveness.
- Growth and employment policy in the short and medium term.
- The public sector and the division of welfare.
The Economic Council, chaired by the Prime Minister, has 10-20 members appointed by the Government, some of which are also members of the Government.
Currently the Council includes: the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance, and eight other Members of Government, the director general of the Confederation of Finnish industry and the President of the Confederation of Agricultural Producers and forest Owners (MTK), the President of the Confederation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), the executive director of the Central Chamber of Commerce, the Managing Director of the Federation of Finnish Enterprises, the Governor of the Bank of Finland, the chairman of the Finnish Confederation of Salaried Employees (STTK), the Director of the Confederation of Finnish industry and the Executive Director the local Government Association of Finland, the President of the Confederation of knowledge workers (AKAVA).
The Economic Council also has permanent advisers.
The Economic Council is appointed for the duration of a Government term. However, participation by Members of Government is limited to the duration of their ministerial term.
The Secretariat of the Economic Council, operating at the Prime Minister’s Office, helps the Economic Council to implement its function. The Secretariat prepares the Council meetings, organises, drafts and publishes the studies and reports compiled for the Economic Council. It maintains contacts with the authorities, institutions and organisations involved in economic research and with the economic and social councils of other countries. In addition, the Secretariat monitors economic policy developments and carries out other duties assigned to it by the chairman of the Economic Council.
Each year, the Economic Council determines the guidelines and themes of the work program. The agenda of the meetings can be modified flexibly according to the needs of the moment.
The monthly meetings of the Council contain brief introductions on the topic under consideration, which are performed by a member or an outside expert and are followed by general discussion. Some presentations are based on a report prepared by the secretariat on the work of expert groups under the leadership of the Secretary-General or on studies commissioned by the secretariat from external experts. Apart from the consideration of topics on the agenda, the Council looks sometimes on urgent matters. The Prime Minister may, for example, inform the Council of significant developments with regard to policies developed at national or community level.
The meetings of the Economic Council are confidential and the exact content of the discussions is not made public. However, the documents prepared for the meetings are later published fterwardsalogwitha memorandum. The secretariat prepares the meetings of the Council in close collaboration with experts from relevant ministries, research institutes and interest groups.