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Ministerial committees

There are four statutory Ministerial Committees: the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy, the Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs, the Ministerial Finance Committee and the Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy. 

Ad hoc ministerial committees may also be appointed to prepare other than statutory matters. The Prime Minister designates the members of these committees after having consulted the Government parties. The mandate of a committee is also defined at the time of appointment. An extraordinary ministerial committee is appointed by a government plenary session.
Ministerial Committees of Sipilä's Government

Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy

The Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy prepares important aspects of foreign and security policy and other matters concerning Finland’s relations with other states, associated key internal security matters, and important matters pertaining to comprehensive defence.

In practice, the Committee meets together with the President of the Republic and the meetings are referred to as joint meetings between the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy and the President of the Republic.

The Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy is chaired by the Prime Minister. Its other members are the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister of Defence and a maximum of four other ministers designated by the Government. Any other minister designated to consider matters falling within the mandate of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is also a member of the Committee. When the matter in hand relates to his or her responsibilities, meetings of the Committee are attended by the Minister of the Interior; on the same basis, any other minister may also attend and participate in the Committee’s proceedings.

The Political Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs serves as  secretariat for the Committee. The Director of Government Communications attends the Ministerial Committee meetings and is responsible for providing information on the meetings, in line with instructions from the Prime Minister. The minutes of the Committee meetings are secret but information is usually provided on decision taken.

Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs

The Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs discusses politically, economically and legally important EU matters. The Ministerial Committee agrees on Finland’s EU policy guidelines for the formal and informal meetings of the Council of the European Union. The Committee's agenda also includes court and infringement issues that require political level discussion, important appointments, and matters relating to the location of EU agencies. The Ministerial Committee may also discuss from the Union's perspective matters to be decided by international organisations.

The Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs usually meets on Friday mornings. The Ministerial Committee is chaired by the Prime Minister. Other members include the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Justice, the minister designated to consider foreign trade issues, the Minister of Economic Affairs, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry and three other ministers. Two of the three ministers are designated by the Government, while the third is the minister within whose mandate the matter in hand falls. In addition, the Government may designate another two ministers as Committee members. Any other minister may also attend and take part in the Committee’s proceedings.

Matters are presented to the Committee by the minister to whose portfolio the item for discussion belongs. The aim is to ensure the Ministerial Committee's support to the minister's proposals or generate discussion on a key EU issue.

The Government EU Affairs Department at the Prime Minister's Office serves as the secretariat for the Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs. Minutes are kept of committee meetings. These minutes are immediately public in so far as the matters dealt with are not referred to the Government for its consideration, or classified as secret.

The Head of Communications for EU Affairs from the Government Communications Department attends the Ministerial Committee meetings and he or she is responsible for providing information on the meetings, in line with instructions from the Prime Minister.

Ministerial Finance Committee

The Ministerial Finance Committee prepares matters of notable economic significance or which otherwise require the opinion of the Ministerial Finance Committee. As in government plenary sessions, discussions follow an agenda drawn up within the ministries.

The Ministerial Finance Committee usually meets at 13.00 on Thursdays. The Ministerial Finance Committee is chaired by the Prime Minister. Other members include the Minister of Finance, other ministers at the Ministry of Finance, a maximum of six other ministers designated by the Government and any minister within whose mandate the matter in hand falls.

The quorum of the Ministerial Finance Committee is three. One of the members present must be from the Ministry of Finance.

A government plenary session may reject an opinion issued by the Ministerial Finance Committee. If a ministry intends to take a decision conflicting with the opinion of the Committee, the matter must be presented for consideration by a government plenary session.

Each matter is presented by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, or his or her substitute, who also acts as secretary at the meetings. Information on issues approved for decision in the ministries is made public directly after the Committee's meeting. Information on issues referred to the Government is made public after discussion in government plenary session.

Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy

The Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy handles matters related to overall economic development and economic policy, the main development outlines of the public finances and other issues requiring economic policy measures, as decided by the Prime Minister.

Meetings of the Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy are usually held on Tuesday mornings. The Ministerial Committee is chaired by the Prime Minister. Other members include the Minister of Finance, any other minister designated to consider matters falling within the mandate of the Ministry of Finance, the Minister of Economic Affairs, the Minister of Labour and a maximum of four other ministers designated by the Government.

The Ministry of Finance serves as secretariat to the Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy and the Director-General of the ministry's Budget Department acts as secretary at meetings of the Committee. The Director of Government Communications attends the Ministerial Committee meetings and he or she is responsible for providing information on the meetings, in line with instructions from the Prime Minister.