Finland

Overview and recent developments

There has been a long-standing increase in attention to improving the quality of legislation and regulation in Finland. The current government programme (since 2015) proposes to create enabling regulation, promote deregulation and reduce administrative burdens. Finland has also introduced a pilot stock review (one in one out) in 2016-2017 for two ministries, whereby new compliance or administrative costs for business have to be off-set by corresponding savings. An evaluation of the pilot in 2018 states it has resulted in reduced stock and costs and increased transparency, and recommend the continuation of the pilot. The areas of regulation subject to ex post evaluations have increased since 2015, albeit without consistent methodologies.

A number of stakeholder engagement platforms exist in Finland to inform the public of current draft legislations and to solicit feedback. These include lausuntopalvelu.fi launched in 2015, as well as the revamped (2017) Governments Registry for Projects and Initiatives (http://valtioneuvosto.fi/hankkeet).

Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) is formally required and conducted for all primary laws and for some subordinate regulations In 2016, Finland established the Finnish Council of Regulatory Impact Analysis (FCRIA) with the mandate of improving the quality of bill drafting and, in particular, of the impact assessments of legislative proposals. 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. Furthermore, the results and adequate resourcing of the FCRIA will merit close assessment in its first years of functioning for maximum impact of its activities.

Institutional setup for regulatory oversight

The Finnish Council of Regulatory Impact Analysis (FCRIA) is an arms-length body created in 2015. The FCRIA reviews selected RIAs (based on 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 the mandate review ex post assessments of other bodies and plans to carry out a first review in 2018. The Unit of Legislative Inspection in the Ministry of Justice and the Chancellor of Justice share responsibilities linked to scrutiny of the legal quality of regulation under development. Observations made during this legislative inspection are taken into account for further versions.

Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance (iREG): Finland, 2018
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Note: The more regulatory practices as advocated in the OECD Recommendation on Regulatory Policy and Governance a country has implemented, the higher its iREG score. The indicators on stakeholder engagement and RIA for primary laws only cover those initiated by the executive (100% of all primary laws in Finland).

Source: Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance Surveys 2014 and 2017, http://oe.cd/ireg.

Requirements to use regulatory management tools for EU-made laws: Finland

Stakeholder engagement

Regulatory impact assessment

Development stage

The government facilitates the engagement of domestic stakeholders in the European Commission’s consultation process

Yes

Negotiation stage

Stakeholder engagement is required to define the negotiating position for EU directives/regulations

Yes

RIA is required to define the negotiating position for EU directives/regulations

Yes

Consultation is required to be open to the general public

Yes

 

Transposition stage

Stakeholder engagement is required when transposing EU directives

Yes

RIA is required when transposing EU directives

Yes

The same requirements and processes apply as for domestically made laws

Yes

The same requirements and processes for RIA apply as for domestically made laws

Yes

Consultation is required to be open to the general public

Yes

RIA includes a specific assessment of provisions added at the national level beyond those in the EU directives

No

 

RIA distinguishes between impacts stemming from EU requirements and additional national implementation measures

No

Source: Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance Survey 2017, http://oe.cd/ireg.

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