Finland elected a new government this year and in June 2019 they released the Government Programme called “Inclusive and competent Finland – a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable society”.
The programme has several entries relating to the promotion of cooperatives, which is a good starting point for years to come. The first and most important entry is the one where the government says: “the formation of business cooperatives will be promoted.”
The programme also includes more detailed entries. “Business continuity will be ensured in cases of ownership change. This will also take into account situations where business operations are continued by members of the personnel.” This refers to a previous idea of one MP that cooperatives would be suitable in these kinds of situations.
Housing cooperatives are also mentioned: “We will promote and support joint building ventures and cooperative construction. We will continue the ongoing cooperative housing pilots and draft legislation on cooperative housing.”
The Government will examine the need for changes in legislation from the perspective of the transformation of work. This refers to entrepreneurs and self-employed persons, the sharing and platform economy, new forms of commissioning work and cooperatives.
The programme also states that collaborative experiments between the state, regional councils, municipalities and private entities and organisations will be promoted on a voluntary basis, and new financing models for these will be explored. This refers to a previous research done by Pellervo Economic Research PTT on the role of cooperatives and NGO’s.
There is a clear connection to cooperatives in other parts as well: “A domestic ownership programme will be formulated that will support growth by providing means for building a stronger, more diversified and more equal Finnish ownership base.”
Interesting and important from the standpoint of cooperatives are also the passages that say the conditions for living and entrepreneurship must be secured in all parts of Finland in a diversity of ways and opportunities will be provided for business growth and renewal, with attention paid to the needs of different types of companies.
Many other parts include possibilities for cooperatives as well such as social and health data (social and health cooperatives), creative industries, the promotion of wood industry and the improvement of the operating conditions of the food sector and the need to ensure a sustainable food system throughout Finland.
Read the full Government Programme in English: https://valtioneuvosto.fi/en/rinne/government-programme/