Ministries appointed a new Creative Industries Manager in 2012 to facilitate different parties in the field.
3.3 Inter-ministerial or intergovernmental co-operation
In the Finnish political system, the plenary sessions of the government (Council of State) and its standing committees and working groups have a strong role in controlling and guiding individual ministries and in co-ordinating their work. Inter-sectoral co-ordination has been perceived as an important issue, but few institutional mechanisms to maintain it have been introduced.
Finnish EU-membership has also brought forth a need for inter-ministerial co-ordination. There is a special Committee of Ministers for the co-ordination of EU-affairs and, on the top civil servant level, an Inter-Ministerial Committee of EU-Affairs, with a number of sub-committees, among them a sub-committee for culture and audio-visual affairs.
In any case, the co-ordination of cultural policy planning and decision-making rests with the Ministry of Education and Culture, but important roles are also played by: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the co-ordination of "cultural diplomacy"), the Ministry of Transport and Communications (concerning co-ordination of media, communications and information technologies), the Ministry of Justice (preparing freedom of expression legislation, court processes in immaterial rights issues) and the Ministry of the Interior (immigrant issues). From the cultural policy point of view, the Ministry of Employment and Economy has had a central role in respect to R&D, SMEs and competition issues in the media and culture industries. As the Ministry of Labour was merged (from 1 January 2008) with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and renamed the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, this new "super-ministry" has had a strong say not only in R&D, SMEs and competition issues but such culturally salient policy domains as public works, construction projects, employment policies (including relations with the ILO), creative industries http://www.tem.fi/index.phtml?l=en&s=272 and gender issues. In the same overall administrative reform, the regional development issues were transferred from the Ministry of the Interior to this new "super-ministry", and the financial monitoring and planning power of the other "super-ministry", the Ministry of Finance, was expanded by including in its jurisdiction, economic, administrative and information technology issues concerning municipal and regional governance.
So far these administrative reforms have not altered the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education and Culture. Directly, they caused a conflict only in one cultural policy domain. The administration of copyright policies has traditionally belonged in the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education and Culture and it was proposed that they should also be transferred to the new "super-ministry", which already was responsible for industrial rights. As the copyright stakeholders, especially artists' organisations, protested against this transfer, the copyright issues remained within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education and Culture (see chapter 4.1 and chapter 5.1.7).
There are no inter-governmental bodies in cultural policy-decision making and administration. As to public cultural services, the Association of the Finnish Local and Regional Authorities is an important intermediary between the central government, the regions and the municipalities. To a certain extent the regional arts councils also function as intermediaries between the central government and regions. The financing from the EU Structural Funds has created a whole host of new planning and supervisory organisations, which also co-ordinate regional cultural policies to a certain extent.
The present and the previous governments have wished to enhance inter-sectorality in state policy-making and administration. The former Centre-Socialist (2003-2007) and Centre-Conservative-Green (2007-2011) governments introduced in their action plans the idea of programme-based management and outlined several inter-sectoral policy programmes for employment, entrepreneurship, the information society, civil society, health promotion and the wellbeing of children, youth and families, but did not propose any specific instruments for coordinating their implementation. Culture was not explicitly included in any of these programmes. The 2003-2007 government promised, in its programme, to draft and implement a national strategy for the promotion of creativity. This was done and work for its implementation began.
The present Conservative-Socialist-Green government (2011-2015) outlined three strategic priority areas:
The strategic priority areas are managed inter-governmentally. Each priority area is made up of several action points each with responsible ministries. From the perspective of cultural policy, the third priority area of economic growth, employment and competitiveness, managed by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, is the most central. Key projects and responsibilities of the Ministry of Education and Culture are the preparation of a cultural environment strategy and the creation of favourable conditions for creative industries (together with Ministry of Employment and the Economy). The latter includes actions supporting cultural entrepreneurship and job creation in the creative industries, a project developing art and culture-driven action models and service products to improve employability and develop working life and the promotion of cultural exports and improving the market competence of the creative industries. Also mentioned is the need to better co-ordinate the support measures for the creative economy among ministries by setting up a body to manage creative economy development (see also chapter 4.2.3).
To enhance support and expertise in creative industries' development, the two ministries of Education and Culture and Employment and Economy, hired jointly in August 2012 a creative industries manager, working under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Employment and Economy, to act as an expert and a facilitator between different parties supporting creative industries. The manager will report yearly on industry development, give statements regarding financial decisions in the field and organise networking events.
Also important from the viewpoint of cultural diplomacy is the objective to centralise all Finland's foreign operations, including embassies, trade commissioners and cultural institutes under one roof, under the concept of the House of Finland and later further elaborated into the concept Team Finland. This would, according to the strategy, create favourable preconditions for networking and coordination and clarify the division of labour of foreign representation. One of the cultural policy objectives of the current government programme is to strengthen the role of the cultural institutes of the Ministry of Education and Culture operating abroad as civil society actors and promoters of cultural exports (see also chapter 3.4.2).
Government Programme: http://valtioneuvosto.fi/hallitus/hallitusohjelma/en.jsp
Strategic Plan for the Implementation: http://valtioneuvosto.fi/toiminta/hallitusohjelman-seuranta/en.jsp
In 2003-2004, a planning process was carried out to draft a policy strategy for the promotion of export of Finnish cultural goods and services. This planning work was co-ordinated by the Ministry of Education and Culture, but the Ministry of Trade and Industry (since 2008 the Ministry of Employment and the Economy) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs participated on an equal footing and participants and experts came from different administrative sectors and walks of life. The final report "Staying power of Finnish cultural exports!" was published in 2004, and the Ministry of Education and Culture initiated its implementation by establishing in 2005 a special Division of Cultural Exports. In 2010 this division was transferred into the Arts Division as a special focus area. It has been estimated that some EUR 228 million was be invested in the Cultural Export Promotion Programme during the period of 2007-2011. In the 2012 budget, EUR 9 800 000 were allocated for the implementation of the Ministry's cultural exports and international co-operation activities.
After the recent overall administrative reform the minority, ethnic, refugee and immigration affairs are concentrated in two ministries, the Ministry of Interior and the new "super-ministry", the Ministry of Employment and the Economy (see this chapter, third paragraph). There is a sectoral division in these issues also within the Ministry of Education and Culture. The Department of Cultural, Sports and Youth Policy defines its objectives e.g. in the Immigration Policy Outlines, in rather general terms, as "… the cultural needs of minorities will be enhanced by increasing the grants to correspond to the escalation of immigration; and these needs will be taken better into account in the decisions and activities of the main cultural policy support systems and cultural and art institutions". In the preamble of the 2007 State Budget, the Department promised to enhance equal access and conditions for equal participation especially in respect to ethnic groups and disabled people. In addition to the "traditional" concern of bilingualism and the status of the Sami (see chapter 4.2.5), the policy actions so far have been limited to the distribution of grants (EUR 650 000 in 2011) to immigrant and minority organisations and artists and to projects and programmes carrying out anti-discrimination campaigns. Since 2009, the Arts Council of Finland has awarded grants to arts projects promoting multiculturalism (immigrant artists). The sum in 2011 was EUR 100 000.
The other core department of the Ministry, the Department of Education and Science, has had closer links to other ministries, especially to the Ministry of Labour, in promoting equal opportunities for minorities, ethic groups and immigrants. As the Ministry of Labour has been merged with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, to form the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, it is difficult to say what will happen to these links in the near future. As to the education policies of the immigrants and minorities, the main responsibility for the research and development activities, experiments and planning of courses and educational material lies with the Ministry of Education's main educational expert body, the National Board of Education. Yet, the focus of educational policy efforts has not been longer term promotion of multiculturalism but the opening up opportunities for immigrants and refugees to become integrated into the Finnish educational system and subsequently also into Finnish labour markets. The native tongue of immigrants is seen as important in the initial integration stage and municipalities can provide teaching in native languages if they so wish and have resources for this purpose.
Yet, educational policies provide the closest link of the Ministry of Education and Culture to the overall national system of policy-making and administration in the minority, ethnicity and immigration issues. In this system, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shapes these issues from the point of view of national security and the Ministry of Interior, through its border guards, police authorities, Department of Immigration and the Directorate of Immigration, has the first say in entry / asylum issues, residence permits and naturalisation. After the overall re-organisation of the Finnish ministries, most other refugee and anti-discrimination issues are located within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior.
Two important legal instruments, the Ombudsman for Minorities and the National Discrimination Tribunal are also located in the Ministry of the Interior. These organisations are, however, independent of the Ministry in their decision-making processes. The former is the main authority in issues concerning the legal protection and the promotion of the status of ethnic minorities and foreigners and in maintaining equality and non-discrimination practices in ethnic relations. The activities of the latter are defined in the Equality Act i.e. preventing and combating ethnic discrimination in working life and service provisions. Another auxiliary organisation, the Board of Ethnic Relations, which plans and co-ordinates activities in all issues concerning refugees, migrants and ethnic relations, is also located in the Ministry of the Interior. This Board and the National Discrimination Tribunal have a representation of immigrant groups and traditional national minorities among their members. No doubt these three organisations also co-ordinate the activities of different ministries, but their main purpose is to operate as bodies where experts and different stakeholders seek solutions for practical social, economic and human rights problems. Consequently, municipal administration and voluntary associations have shouldered the responsibilities for the immigrants and minorities in the fields of arts and culture – and also in respect to multiculturalism and intercultural dialogue. For their role, see chapter 4.2.4 and chapter 4.2.7 for cases illustrating Finnish approaches to intercultural dialogue.