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Finland: Working Together to Sustain Success

image of Finland: Working Together to Sustain Success

Finland’s traditional Nordic model is under pressure: A rapidly ageing society, the global economic crisis and growing societal disillusionment require the public administration to be strategically agile in order to maintain fiscal sustainability and to respond to a complex and rapidly changing environment. 

The government’s capacity to act in these difficult times will depend on the public administration’s ability to work together – across all of the public administration at the state and local level, and with society as a whole –  in order to sustain success and maintain its global position in the future.   

This report is the second in a series of OECD country reviews that look at governance and public management issues from a comprehensive perspective.  These reviews help countries to identify how reforms can better reinforce each other in support of overall government objectives.  They also examine reform strategies that have worked in other countries and provide advice as to which reforms can be appropriately adapted to a given country.

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Executive Summary

The Finnish government has a strong track record in responding to difficult economic situations, and it may now be facing its biggest challenge. Since the mid-1990s, and prior to the current global economic downturn, Finland enjoyed strong GDP growth in a low-inflation environment, with rising employment and a sound fiscal position. The public administration has been critical to this success, both in supporting Finland’s remarkable transformation from an economy specialised in traditional industries to a diversified and modern economy, and in helping the country navigate the Nordic economic crisis of the early 1990s. As a result, the Finnish citizenry today trusts the public administration as a key partner for economic development and service delivery, as well as the mechanism to realise many Finnish values of social solidarity and equality.

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