Government and regional councils to discuss measures to strengthen regional development
The Government and regional councils will hold discussions on regional development on 1–17 February 2022. The discussions will strengthen the dialogue and cooperation between the Government and regions in order to achieve the regional development goals. After the discussions, cooperation documents will be drawn up, based on which the Government will grant regional councils a total of EUR 16 million in national regional development appropriations for the agreed measures.
The discussions in February will focus on topical issues that have been identified during the situation and development review work carried out by the regions and the Government and that are important for the development of each region.
The discussions will be attended by representatives of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Defence, as well as representatives of the ELY Centres and TE Offices. As concerns the regions, they will be represented by the regional councils, research and educational institutions, central cities and development companies. A business organisation will normally represent the business and industry of the regions. The compositions vary according to the region and topics under discussion.
All discussions to explore availability of skilled labour and regional mobility
The discussions will be based on the Government’s regional development decision, new regional strategic programmes and reviews of regional development.
In accordance with the policy of the Advisory Council on Regional Renewal, which is chaired by Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä, the availability of skilled labour and regional mobility will be discussed with all regions. A shortage of skilled labour is a challenge to many sectors and practically in all regions. Both national and regional measures and seamless cooperation between the different bodies are necessary.
“The discussions will focus on the challenges related to the availability of skilled labour and the measures that the Government has already decided on to achieve a better match between jobs and workers and to improve the availability of labour. The conclusions of the discussions will be used in the Ministry for further work on policy measures, including the preparation of sectoral labour roadmaps,” says Under-Secretary of State Elina Pylkkänen.
Other cross-administrative themes include climate change mitigation and adaptation, green transition, bioeconomy and circular economy, accelerating RDI activities, promoting wellbeing and preventing inequality.
No binding decisions are made in the regional development discussions. Instead, the key objective is to review together the overall development in the region and to find ways to promote the important issues. The monitoring of implementation, for which the Advisory Council on Regional Renewal will be responsible, will be carried out together with the regions.
Discussions are part of new regional development legislation
This is the first time that the discussions on regional development are conducted as a statutory procedure. In connection with the discussions, an operating model for contractual cooperation between the Government and the regions will be tested. In future, the discussions will be held on a regular basis.
Mikko Härkönen, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. + 358 295 047 889
Petra Stenfors, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. + 358 295 047 282