8.2 Administration and governance
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As mentioned in Strategy for Cultural Policy 2025, the public sector has, generally speaking, an important role in Finland’s cultural policy due to the small domestic market. Just as it does the youth policy, the Ministry of Education and Culture coordinates youth policy as well as cultural policy in Finland. The Ministry is responsible for legislation, central government financing and strategic steering and for providing prerequisites for artistic and cultural activities. It promotes work in the arts and other creative work, the conditions for the production and distribution of art, the availability of art and cultural services, as well as the conservation of cultural heritage and cultural environments. It sees to the resources needed by the sector and prepares the related legislation. Therefore, its role is extremely important in the fields of culture and arts.
The ministry's agencies operate in different areas of arts and culture. The most important of these are the Arts Promotion Centre Finland, the Finnish Heritage Agency and the National Audiovisual Institute. The arts council system, which awards grants funds to artists based on peer assessments, operates as part of the Arts Promotion Centre Finland. The Finnish Film Foundation, the National Gallery, the Finnish National Opera and the Finnish National Theatre are all under the Ministry of Education and Culture's performance management, as they are for the most part funded by the state. Young people’s cultural activities can be funded as part of youth and/or cultural field.
Finnish municipalities (see Glossary) are self-governing entities and promotion of general cultural activities is one of their tasks. They encourage cultural activities among local residents by providing grants, by making facilities available and by organising events. Municipalities also maintain arts and cultural institutions.
Based on the Youth Act, the Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for the overall administration, coordination and development of the national youth policy, and for the creation of favourable conditions for the pursuit of the policy in the central government. In practice, as stated also in the Youth Act, the National Youth Work and Youth Policy Programme is prepared by the Ministry of Education and Culture in consultation with other relevant ministries. Other ministries also have important roles in taking the programme into action. During the years there have also been several youth thematic related cross-sectorial ministerial working groups, for example related to youth unemployment.
In ‘A Strategy for Leisure Activities’ (Harrastamisen strategia, includes a description sheet in English) published in spring 2019 by the working group appointed by the former Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sport (Mr Sampo Terho) suggested the need for sharpening the co-operation model between the ministries when it comes to offering public funded leisure-time activity that are organised with and for young people, including cultural services. The working group was established to suggest objectives for the Government Programme 2019-2023 electoral term, much of proposals of which have been actually taken into the Government Programme, published in June 2019. However, due to the high number of measures mentioned in the programme, it will take some time before we can clearly see how cross-sectorial ministerial cooperation will be newly put into practice.
At the local level, the Youth Act obliges municipalities (see Glossary) to form a cross-sectorial coordination network for counselling and planning services for young people. For the purpose of planning cross-sectoral cooperation between local authorities and developing such cooperation, local governments must establish a steering and service network or appoint a cooperation team whose activities target all the young people living in the municipality. Two or more municipalities may have a shared network. The network includes representatives of the local authorities for education, social and health care services, youth work and the employment and policy authorities
The network or other equivalent cross-sectorial local cooperation team is to:
- gather information on young people’s growth and living conditions and assess their situation in light of this information in support of decision-making;
- improve the coordination of services intended for young people and promote shared procedures in referring young people to the services while ensuring a smooth exchange of information;
- promote cooperation in the implementation of youth activities.
For more information, visit Youth Wiki/Finland: 4.6 Access to Quality Services.