Government Report on the Future

During each electoral term, the Government submits to Parliament a Report on the Future, which aims to identify issues that will be important for decision-making and require particular attention in the future. It also serves to open discussion for the coming years. The Government issued its first report in 1993.

The Report on the Future is drawn up in two parts. The first part deals with the ministries’ joint foresight activities, the purpose of which is to create an understanding of future developments. The second part focuses on certain key issues identified in the ministries’ foresight activities and explores possible solutions.

The ministries’ joint foresight working group plays a key role in drawing up the first part of the Government Report on the Future. The Prime Minister’s Office coordinates the group's work, and representatives from the ministries work together with experts in their administrative branches and networks. There is also close cooperation between the National Foresight Network, the Government Foresight Group and a variety of national and international experts.

The report is discussed jointly by Parliament and the Government, and it also provides material for broader public debate. The report procedure makes it possible for Parliament to express its opinion on both the ministries’ foresight activities and the key themes selected by the Government.

Government Report on the Future 2019–2023

The Government Report on the Future, adopted on 19 January 2023, aims to build a common understanding of what Finland will look like in the generations to come. The report’s systematic reflections on the future lay the foundation for proactive governance.

The Government Report on the Future plays an important role in the Government’s foresight activities. Rather than trying to predict the future, the report aims to open up new perspectives, challenge assumptions and increase awareness of potential future trends and their impacts.

Scenario work maps out paths of development

The report consists of two parts. The first part presents four different scenarios for how the future will develop. The scenarios are potential development paths rather than forecasts, and it is possible to influence many of them. The measures necessary for Finland are related to the following general questions:

  1. How can we influence our operating environment so as to successfully promote peace, security, stability, wellbeing, sustainable development, democracy and human rights?
  2. How can we keep the welfare society’s value proposition in the future?
  3. How can we create an operating environment that generates sustainable growth?
  4. How can we safeguard the funding base of the welfare society and address the sustainability gap?
  5. How can we mitigate climate change, combat biodiversity loss and transition to a low-carbon economy in a just manner?
  6. How can we secure the opportunities of future generations to lead socially, economically and environmentally sustainable lives?

The first part of the report was drawn up by public officials as part of their official duties in cooperation between all ministries. Its goal is to support the ministries in their strategy work and strengthen the central government’s ability to prepare for the future.

As part of the Government Report on the Future, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Timeout Foundation organised 50 dialogues on the future of Finland using the Timeout discussion method. Representatives of different genders and generations and people from a variety of backgrounds and walks of life were invited to participate. A particular focus was placed on involving young people. The goal was that people who, for one reason or another, do not usually take part in discussions on the future would get involved in reflecting on the future of Finland.

The Finland of future generations

The second part of the Report on the Future examined how future generations could be better taken into account in legislative drafting and how foresight could play a more important role than at present.  The main question for the future is how we can ensure that future generations will also have the opportunity to lead a sustainable life.

Taking into account future generations increases accountability for political choices. Intergenerational justice is an essential part of the principle of sustainable development: for development to be sustainable, it must not jeopardise the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The report highlights international examples of institutions that are taking future generations into account. It also presents ways to increase solidarity between generations.

Contact information

Jaana Tapanainen-Thiess, Chief Specialist 
Prime Minister's Office, Government Strategy Department, Policy Planning Unit Telephone:0295160593   Email Address: