Ministerial working group’s decision on Finland’s digital compass aims to make Finland a leader among EU countries
A new ministerial group decided on the creation of a digital compass for Finland during spring 2022 with the objective of formulating a shared national vision and targets for the digital transformation and the data economy for 2030.
The Ministerial Working Group on Developing the Digital Transformation, the Data Economy and Public Administration held its first meeting on 27 October. The ministers also heard a briefing on Finland’s current digital situation and on the operational launch of the wellbeing services counties.
Digital compass sets out a vision and targets
The objective of the European Union’s digital strategy is to harness digitalisation to serve people and businesses and support the objective of making Europe climate-neutral by 2050. To promote the achievement of this objective, the European Commission proposed a Digital Compass for the EU in March 2021. In September 2021, the Commission proposed a concrete action plan to achieve the digital transformation. The plan obliges Member States to prepare their own roadmaps. This Digital Compass revolves around four cardinal points: skills, secure and sustainable digital infrastructures, the digital transformation of businesses, and the digitalisation of public services. *
The purpose of Finland’s digital compass is to set national targets and indicators for these areas, and to create a coherent vision for the digital transformation. The work will be carried out in cooperation with various stakeholders, with interlinkages to existing projects. The compass helps to assign priorities to projects that are instrumental to Finland’s digital development.
“The digital compass is a key tool for creating a shared vision for 2030 and for identifying the concrete actions needed to achieve this vision. We want to lead the way in digital transformation, and be the first EU country to create its own digital compass,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.
Finland ranks high in digital development, but a better overall picture is needed
The ministers discussed the current situation in Finland’s digital transformation and the data economy. While Finland ranks high in digital development by international standards, it is lagging behind in certain areas, such as e-commerce.
Several projects amounting to hundreds of millions of euros are under way in the fields of digitalisation, the data economy and the use of data. A better overall picture and stronger coordination are needed to maximise the benefits of the projects. Coordination also ensures the interoperability and extensive utilisation of the lessons learned.
Planned progress made with wellbeing services counties
The ministerial working group heard a briefing on the operational launch of the wellbeing services counties. Interim preparatory bodies have launched operations in all counties. County elections will be held on 23 January 2022, and the term of the county councils will begin in March 2022.
“This is the largest administrative reform in the history of Finland. It is important to provide sufficient support to the counties and the interim preparatory bodies. Successful implementation of the reform requires good cooperation and active communication between the Ministry of Finance and the counties, says Minister of Local Government Sirpa Paatero.
The wellbeing services counties have received financing for preparations in 2021. The first decisions on financing for ICT solutions have also been made. As outlined by the Ministerial Working Group on Health and Social Services, the need for additional financing for the wellbeing services counties will be assessed as the implementation progresses, and the Government will make the necessary provisions in the supplementary budget proposals in 2022.
Valtteri Aaltonen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Local Government, tel. +358 50 442 4223
Tino Aalto, Special Adviser to the Minister of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 50 436 9188
Päivi Nerg, Permanent Under-Secretary, Ministry of Finance, tel. +358 295 530 149
Jarkko Levasma, Government Chief Information Officer, Ministry of Finance, tel. +358 295 530 117
Laura Eiro, Director General, Ministry of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 400 969 293
Mika Nordman, Director of Digital Services, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 142
* Details and the time frame of the EU process were revised on 1 November 2021.