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Finland

Finland

8. Creativity and Culture

8.3 National strategy on creativity and culture for young people

On this page
  1. Existence of a national strategy
  2. Scope and contents
  3. Responsible authority for the implementation of the strategy
  4. Revisions/updates

Existence of a national strategy

Legislation

Since the cultural field is very diverse, there is no one comprehensive act, which would cover the whole field. However, the Constitution of Finland guarantees that everyone has the right to one's language and culture. Other important acts setting the legal framework of cultural policy are the Act on the Financing of Educational and Cultural Provision, the Municipal Cultural Activities Act, the Lotteries Act (which is under renewation), the Act on Liberal Adult Education and relevant decrees. With regards to young people’s cultural activities, one of the underlying principles of the Youth Act is cultural diversity. In addition, cultural youth work is supported by the Youth Act.

The Government Programme 2019-2023

At the national level, the Government Programme (2019-2023, published in June 2019) is the most important public document that sets the major objectives to be pursued. In the programme, it is said that culture is a key element in the value system of Finnish society: 'A dynamic cultural life has intrinsic value and as such, it creates the foundation for a society in which education and culture are highly regarded, where democracy is strengthened and freedom of speech reinforced. Furthermore, the production and service sectors in the arts, culture and creative industries are not only labour-intensive areas but they are also continually growing.'

The Strategy for Cultural Policy 2025

The Strategy for Cultural Policy 2025 of the Ministry of Education and Culture (published 2017) describes the government duties in cultural policy, evaluates the current state of arts and culture and changes in the field and sets strategic targets for the strategy period. The strategy also describes different dimensions of cultural policy impacts as well as central development measures in the coming years. The Strategy corresponds to Government Programme. However, its guidelines and core principles are not limited to the period of office. 

The Cultural Environment Strategy 2014-2020

The first national Cultural Environment Strategy was prepared through widespread cooperation coordinated by the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Education and Culture. The cultural environment, with its social and cultural values, is taken to be the basis for the memory and identity of a community and its people. When pursued strategically, when it is well taken care of, and when the regional characteristics are revealed and constructed over different time periods, such a cultural environment enhances the well-being of people. The strategy offers tools for maintaining the values of our national heritage and improving the vitality and attractiveness of regions (more about the connections between the national heritage and young people, see Youth Wiki/Finland 8.4 Promoting culture and cultural participation).

The National Youth Work and Policy Programme 2017-2019

According to the Youth Act, the Government shall adopt the National Youth Work and Policy Programme every four years. The programme specifies detailed objectives for the national youth work and policy, and the support to be provided for these efforts. The programme is prepared by the Ministry of Education and Culture in consultation with other relevant ministries. Young people and key actors engaged in youth work and policy are to be consulted over the course of its preparation. The programme lays down guidelines for youth policy as well as cross-sectorial cooperation within it at the national level. The National Youth Work and Policy Programme provides guidelines for youth field in general. Also, it is the main strategy applied to young people’s cultural activities. The new programme for the period 2020-2023 has been under preparation, hearings were organised during the summer and the autumn 2019, and the programme will be published by the end of the year. (For more information, see: Youth Wiki/Finland: 8.2 Administration and Governance). 

Scope and contents

Government Programme 2019-2023

The Government Programme 2019-2023 (published in June 2019) emphasises the role of “strong and vibrant civil society” as a base for well-functioning culture, youth and sport sectors. When it comes to young people as both the creators and consumers of culture, the government promise to “support the expansion of new artistic fields in addition to the visual arts” is an important one for the next generations. The government will also be continuing the promotion of children’s culture, which was started by the previous government. This is achieved by further developing basic education in the arts and increasing the grant opportunities within the field of children’s culture.

To be clear, children are understood to be under 18 years old, whereas young people — who are explicitly mentioned in the context of leisure activities — are considered to be under the age of 29, according to the Youth Act. The government will continue what the previous government began, which is to guarantee opportunities for every child and young person a genuine opportunity to pursue a leisure activity free-of-charge of their choice, as part of the school day. As such, it is intended to reinforce and improve the quality of the schools’ morning and afternoon activities, clubs and the cooperation with the municipalities and third-sector providers. The government is even investing 40 million euros over the course of the following two years.

The Strategy for Cultural Policy 2025

As mentioned above, the Strategy for Cultural Policy 2025 describes the government duties in cultural policy, evaluates the current state of arts and culture and changes in the field and sets strategic targets for the strategy period. The target areas for cultural policy and related strategic objectives are:

Creative work and production

• The conditions for artistic and other creative work will be improved, and there will be more diverse ways to produce and distribute creative works.

Inclusion and participation in arts and culture

• Inclusion in arts and culture will be increased and differences between population groups in terms of participation will be smaller.

Cultural basis and continuity

• The cultural basis will be strong and vital.

The Cultural Environment Strategy 2014-2020

The strategy envisions the cultural environment as a source of well-being and vitality, where:

  • People value the cultural environment and work actively for it.
  • A well-tended cultural environment lives through time, while preserving its unique characteristics.
  • The resources of the public administration are directed to guiding its orderly change.
  • For the business sector, the diversity of the cultural environment opens up opportunities for success.

National Youth Work and Policy Programme 2017-2019

With regards to young people’s cultural activities, one of the most important objectives in the National Youth Work and Policy Programme by the end 2019 is to guarantee young people the opportunity to have at least one leisure activity of their choice. As one of the measures to guarantee this right, a questionnaire has been sent to all young people between the age of 7 and 16. This measure has now been successfully executed twice since the launch of the programme.

Responsible authority for the implementation of the strategy

Government Programme 2019-2023

As mentioned above, the Ministry of Education coordinates youth policy as well as cultural policy (for more information, visit: Youth Wiki/Finland 1. Youth Policy Governance).

The Strategy for Cultural Policy 2025

The Strategy for Cultural Policy 2025 sets guidelines for cultural policy, which is coordinated at the national level by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

The Cultural Environment Strategy 2014-2020

Together with key operators in the cultural environment sector, a working group led by the Ministry of the Environment prepared an implementation plan (Toimeenpanosuunnitelma, Genomförandeplan) for the strategy. The plan includes 54 concrete actions, the majority of which fall under the responsibility of the public administration. However, it has been made clear that the building of a better cultural environment also requires the contribution of other organisations and individual people. Because of this, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Education and Culture have invited various parties to take action by making their own cultural environment commitments.

National Youth Work and Policy Programme 2017-2019

The National Youth Work and Policy Programme is prepared by the Ministry of Education and Culture in consultation with other relevant ministries. The programme specifies responsible authorities for every objective.

Revisions/updates

The Government programmes are limited to the electoral periods of office, which are then also renewed according to political standpoints. As summarised in the Compendium/Finland 1.2.6 Tranversal co-operation, in the previous governments of the Centre-Socialist (2003-2007) and Centre-Conservative-Green (2007-2011), culture was not explicitly included in the programmes. The programmes of Conservative-Socialist-Green government (2011-2015) and the Centre-Conservative-Populist (2015-2019) had more connections to culture. The content of the programme of the latter, as regards to cultural policy, put the main government priority on facilitating access to art and culture. The programme stated that:

  • Children and young people will be supported in becoming more active.
  • Basic education in the arts and cultural activities will be increased.
  • Access to basic art education and children’s culture, which is currently not available to all in every part of the country, will be improved.
  • Greater recognition will be given to the wellbeing aspects of culture.
  • Art exhibitions in public spaces and institutions will be promoted to bring culture more accessible to every Finnish citizen.
  • The principle of investing up to 1% of the construction costs of public buildings in the acquisition of artwork will be expanded in cooperation with the social welfare and health care sector in order to support the welfare impacts of the arts.” (Compendium-database)

The updated Government programme was published after the parliamentary elections in Spring 2019, and it is expected to be in force for four years. The Strategy for Cultural Policy was published in 2017 and the Cultural Environment Strategy in 2014.  Those are effective until end of the years 2025 and 2020, respectively.

According to the Youth Act, the government adopts a national youth work and policy programme every four years, usually shortly after the government programme has been published. The National Youth Work and Policy Programme (2017–2019) is the third programme; the earlier programme was called the Child and Youth Policy Programme (2012–2015) and it was prolonged also to 2016 because of the revision of the Youth Act. The major changes between the programmes are summarised in Youth Wiki/Finland 1.3 National youth strategy.