Annex 6. Entries in meeting minutes

Finland as a sustainable economy

  • Mechanical annual targets will not be set for the selling of assets. They will be carried out in a manner and schedule that fit the purpose. 
  • The Government will swiftly submit a supplementary budget in order to launch infrastructure projects, for example, to strengthen competitiveness and accessibility across country, speed up rail transport, and reduce the volume of repair backlog. 
  • If necessary, the reduction in the share of EU funding allocated to Finland in the new EU programming period for 2021–2027 of the EU’s common agricultural policy will be compensated from an unallocated reserve.  

Identifying exceptional cyclical downturns

  • From the point of view of the use of the exceptional situation mechanism and the objective of the consolidation of general government finances, exceptional circumstances prevail should Finland’s economy drift into an exceptional recession caused by a cyclical downturn in the world economy and especially by a deep recession in the euro area or by some other serious disturbance of a temporary nature in demand that is not dependent of the Government's actions.  
  • The Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy will decide when the definition of an exceptional economic situation is met, relying on an analysis of the Economics Department of the Ministry of Finance and on assessments of the current situation requested from the Bank of Finland and economic research institutions (Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, Etla; Labour Institute for Economic Research, PT; Pellervo Economic Research PTT).  
  • Declaring an exceptional economic situation is based on an overall assessment of the state of the economy. The assessment will lay special emphasis on developments in GDP and the unemployment rate and other relevant factors.  
  • A fall in GDP by a minimum of 0.5 per cent over two consecutive quarters and a cumulative increase by a minimum of 0.5 percentage points in the euro area’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate within three months would be signs of a  serious economic situation in the euro area.    
  • Indications of a serious economic situation in Finland are manifest if Finland’s GDP about to fall by a minimum of 1.0 per cent over two consecutive quarters and the unemployment rate is about to rise cumulatively by a minimum of 0.5 percentage points within three months. 
  • In the analysis, attention will be paid not only to the scale of disruptions but especially to their source and estimated duration. 

3.1 Carbon neutral Finland that protects biodiversity

  • Provisions will be laid down according to which the landowner’s permit is required for obtaining an extension for prospecting.

3.2 Globally influential Finland

  • During its term, the Government will prepare an investment plan relating to loan-based or investment-based development cooperation activities. The plan will direct investments to targets that are in line with the priorities and principles of the Government Programme, especially to climate finance and to least developed countries. We will stregthen the criteria for responsible investments and their effectiveness and monitor the implementation of investments. The plan will be made so that it is ready for adoption at the Government budget session in autumn 2019.  
  • At the same time, the Government will prepare a plan on such one-off targets for development cooperation projects that will strengthen the implementation of the Government’s development policy goals, bolster Finland's international profile, respond to topical humanitarian needs and meet the funding needs of multilateral organisations. In the plans, emphasis will be laid on as broad ODA-eligibility as possible. 

The additional minutes shall include the following points that were discussed

  1. In Finland’s participation in crisis management operations, priority will be given to UN-led operations. Decisions on participation in operations and on the allocation of additional appropriations, if required, will be made case by case and, if necessary, through a supplementary budget.  
  2. To facilitate transport between Finland and Russia, we will investigate the possibility of opening an international border crossing point at Parikkala. 
  3. Our aim is that support for development cooperation activities, which is channelled via the budget item for civil society organisations, can be raised to 15 per cent from the exclusive budget item managed by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.  
  4. As part of the support for democracy and the rule of law, the resources of Demo Finland, which is a cooperative organisation of Finnish parliamentary parties, will be secured.   
  5. The aim is to raise the contribution channelled via the UN to 30 per cent of our development cooperation appropriations, with an emphasis on good quality and effectiveness in Finland’s priority areas.  
  6. Team Finland activities at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will be bolstered by paying attention to shadow areas and by shifting the emphasis of Business Finland’s  activities from Finland to its networks abroad.   
  7. Trade with Russia will be facilitated by securing adequate resources to process export licences.  
  8. To ensure the availability of expertise in sustainable development, we will prepare a 2030 Agenda policy paper for the administrative branch of the Ministry of Education and Culture. We will make adequate funding available for wide-ranging civil society activities relating to development questions and global education in Finland. 
  9. A report will be prepared at the beginning of the government term on the resources needed by civil society organisations and separate associations that are active in the area of foreign and security policy. A development programme will be drawn up on the basis of the report.  
  10. We will endeavour to increase climate financing in a front-loaded manner

3.6.1 Health and social services reforms

The following was agreed on in the context of the appropriation of EUR 250 million that was budgeted or is being returned from preparation that was allocated for the preparation of the now discontinued regional government, health and social services reform: 

A joint proposal of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, including other ministries if necessary, will be prepared regarding the use of appropriations provided under item 28.70.05 for the first General Government Fiscal Plan of the government term and to future supplementary budget proposals. In this conjunction, we will assess any overlaps with other revisions of the content of the health and social services reform. 

The appropriation may be used for the integration of information systems, preparations of national ICT solutions, boosting productivity and for funding other work to develop health, social and rescue services. 

Four million euros of the total funding package of EUR 250 million will be allocated to research on the integration of the healthcare and social welfare.