Comparative Table of Parliamentary TA Institutions



In 2000 Parliament decided to make the Committee a permanent Committee with the same high status as the other standing permanent committees.

The committee has meetings twice a week. 17 members of Parliament from all political parties sit around the same table in the committee room and their only task is think, discuss and decide on new things - on Futures as researchers of Future Studies would say. In the Finnish parliamentary system committee meetings are closed, so MPs are more free to discuss and look for common or different opinions. Anyway they share different kinds of problems and options of Futures in spite of being representatives from right to left and all between.

Its current tasks are (1) to prepare material to be submitted to the Finnish Parliament, such as government reports on the future, (2) to make submissions on future-related long-term issues to other standing committees, (3) to debate issues relating to future development factors and development models, (4) to undertake analyses pertaining to future-related research and IT methodology, and (5) to function as a parliamentary body for assessing technological development and its consequences for society.

All members of the Committee are MPs, and like most of the other standing committees it has 17 members. So, it neither concentrates on preparing legislation nor reviewing the government´s annual budget proposal, but in other respects it resembles the other committees. What makes it different is the nature of its functions and its new fields of tasks. Its mission is to conduct an active and initiative-generating dialogue with the government on major future problems and the means of solving them. Since the problems of the future and above all its opportunities, cannot be studied through traditional parliamentary procedures and work methods alone, the committee has been given the specific task of following and using the results of research. Indeed, the committee can be said to be making policy on the future, because its goal is not research but rather policy.

Because the Committee itself decides its modest annual research, printing and translation budget, research projects must be chosen, manned, timed and directed well. The Committee has an annual budget for the research projects and permanent scientific expert who coordinates projects. All administrative costs are covered by Parliament´s general budget.


Chapter Organisation - all countries

Country Report Finland



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