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Government seeks growth and employment

18.11.2010  |  Press release 147/2010

On 18 November the Government endorsed the Europe 2020 draft national programme for Finland. It describes the main obstacles to economic growth and specifies five national targets, and it builds on a strong European framework. The Europe 2020 Strategy adopted by the European Council in June aims to achieve sustainable economic growth. The national programme also supports the Programme for Sustainable Economic Growth and Employment, which was drawn up in collaboration with themain labour market organisations.

The national targets are more ambitious than those established by the European Council in June for the whole of the European Union. These ambitious targets are essential to secure sustainable public finances in Finland. Sustainable economic growth will ensure the financing of public services and benefits once the baby boom generation reaches pensionable age.

Raising the employment rate among 20 to 64-year-olds to 78% by 2020 has been set as a national target. Efforts will be made to keep the proportion of research and development funding above 4% of GDP. The intention is to increase the number of people with higher education qualifications to 42% and to bring down the number of early school leavers below 8%. The aim is also to reduce the number of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion. The energy and climate objectives were already established earlier in the EU. 

To be able to bridge the sustainability gap in public finances, productivity in public services must be boosted. The Government objective is to make sure that all main services can be accessed electronically by 2013. The reforms in progress in local government and services will be pursued to curb spending pressure in the municipalities.

To boost economic growth, efforts will be made to create more versatile production structures, make better use of labour reserves and increase competition. One objective is to streamline which services will continue to be provided by local authorities and which ones will become open to competition. A wider range of choices will be made available to customers in the public sector.

The measures in the national programme aim to improve operating conditions for businesses, and to create job prospects for young people, immigrants and low skill workers. Longer working careers and occupational and regional mobility of labour lend support to economic growth. Active policies in research and development and innovation are to the advantage of both businesses and the citizens. In innovation policy, there will be more focus on customer orientation and promotion of innovations in the service sector.  

These measures will be implemented within the central government spending limits. The measures will take on a more specific form Finland?s national programme, which will be drawn up in spring 2011.

Inquiries: Mr Tuomas Sukselainen, Director General, tel. 358 9 160 33191 and Ms Hannele Kerola, Ministerial Adviser, tel. 358 9 160 33176.

Europe 2020 draft national programme for Finland

 

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