As part of its broader strategic objective of consolidating a well-functioning democracy, the current Government Programme in place since 2019 pledges to strengthen the role of Finland’s regulatory oversight body, introduce government-level system for ex post assessments, and draw up a comprehensive action plan for Better Regulation. The government-wide instructions for drafting bills were renewed in 2019 to provide more and clearer information to rule-makers, and reforms on regulatory impact assessment (RIA) and ex post evaluations are underway.

RIA is formally required and conducted for all primary laws and for some subordinate regulations. A renewal of the Finnish RIA Guidelines was initiated in 2020, and new guidance is expected to be available in 2021-22. In 2019, a study by the Parliament’s Audit Committee on the development of RIA was carried out. It included extensive consultations with stakeholders and parliamentary committees. While ex post evaluation of regulations is not mandatory across the government, the government has commissioned a research project on the current use of ex post evaluations within the government to gain a better overview on their scope and methods across regulatory authorities.

The Finnish Council of Regulatory Impact Analysis (FCRIA) is Finland’s only regulatory oversight body (ROB). It is an arms-length body set up in 2015. The FCRIA reviews selected RIAs based on the criteria of significance and representativeness before approval of the final version of the regulation, and provides advice as well as a formal opinion on the quality of the RIA. The FCRIA has no sanctioning power. The Council also has a mandate to review ex post assessments of legislation. In addition to the country’s ROB, there is a government-wide co-operative working group for improving law drafting that aims at enhancing co-ordination across ministries and promoting the uptake of best practices. Exceptionally, in the context of COVID-19, oversight functions were partially shared with the Ministry of Justice as far as fundamental and human rights were concerned. The review and use of RIA in Finland could be further strengthened by the introduction of an oversight function that allows for returning proposed rules for which impact assessments are deemed inadequate.

Several stakeholder engagement platforms exist in Finland to inform the public of current draft legislations and to solicit feedback. These include launched in 2015, as well as the Governments Registry for Projects and Initiatives which was revamped in 2017 ( The COVID-19 pandemic brought an increase in the number of consultations taking place via phone or internet, confirming the importance of these platforms.

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