Sitra: The Finnish process lacks EU legislation in three respects

As have little opportunity to participate in the preparation of EU legislation, the positions adopted often reflect the position of the and the civil service rather than the wider public, the report states.

“Citizens’ opportunities for participation are hampered by the fact that they have difficulty understanding the EU decision-making process as a whole. Information at EU and national level is scattered on sites run by different parties, rather than being available from place, ”the authors write.

The information typically becomes available to the public only after the government has presented its final position on some EU legislation to Parliament. The parliamentary process, on the other hand, largely proceeds behind closed doors of parliamentary committees, which means that any attempts to influence the union’s legislative initiatives in advance are not transparent.

“Strengthening the role of Parliament in the national decision-making process on EU affairs will also promote public participation and democracy,” they say. “Although the role of the Grand Committee is formally central, in practice decisions are often outlined earlier in the government-led phase by officials, EU subcommittees and the Committee of Ministers for EU Affairs.”

“Parliament’s real opportunities to influence the process are limited at this stage.”

According to the authors, the problem should be addressed by raising awareness of current and future EU legislative initiatives, holding public hearings on key initiatives and increasing public expert hearings in parliamentary committees.

’s of strengthening its efforts to influence legislation in advance would, in turn, require the adoption of more clearly defined strategic goals and priorities for lobbying, which are transparently defined in the plenary session of Parliament.

According to the authors, the whole and activities of the debate should be shifted from the beginning to the preparation of the initiatives presented by the Commission in the preparatory phase. In addition, a clearer framework should be created and adequate funding for ex ante coordination should be guaranteed.

“In Finland, the official focus is on a strong proactive effect, but the practical process does not support it,” they say. “Formal lobbying takes place mainly at a late stage in the process (legislative proposal) and not at the stage of shaping the EU agenda (such as the strategy and program).

The report also draws attention to the crucial role of open and high-quality information in the development and of the process and in promoting public participation.

“Today, separate government and parliamentary information systems and their data should, where possible, be integrated and at least the technical interfaces opened up so that the data is openly accessible,” the authors state. “Binding rules, such as input protocols, need to be added, especially for process data. The use of data analytics needs to be increased. ”

The information obtained from the legislative process should be used in the analysis and development of the process and its management, in particular in system integration and improving data compatibility.

The report was written by a researcher Laura Nordströmformer legislator Jouni Backman and an expert Lea Konttinen.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

Source: The Nordic Page




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