Developing the national legislative process
Sitra’s goal is to ensure that Finnish democracy is strong, diverse and capable of renewal. Public participation in decision-making is an important feature of open Nordic governance.
What is it all about?
The Constitution guarantees citizens the right to participate and influence the development of society and their living environment. At the same time, it is the duty of public authorities to promote the opportunities for individuals to participate in society and influence decision-making.
Increasing the transparency and predictability of the legislative process would help citizens to monitor decision-making and be involved in it. It would also bolster trust in the system.
However, Sitra’s studies show that legislative processes need to be more transparent and easier to follow. Decision-making and the different stages of legislative processes should be brought closer to the people and their opportunities to participate should be increased.
Currently, the overall development and systematic reform of the legislative process is not the responsibility of Parliament or the government. As such, legislative processes should be reformed in co-operation between both.
What do we do?
Sitra’s aim is to strengthen the capacity of representative democracy to reform, the transparency of decision-making processes and increased scope for citizen empowerment. Sitra is promoting the reform of legislative processes in a variety of ways: by mining and analysing process data, producing reports and providing training.
Sitra has produced and continues to produce process data on the legislative process. It has modelled and analysed both domestic and EU legislative processes by carrying out process modelling and mining process data. This work is continuously being updated.
By describing and analysing the transparency of legislative and decision-making processes, it is possible to examine their progress and to identify the potential for influencing. The aim is to create an overview of the EU decision-making and legislative processes and increase the overall understanding of all their stages.
Increasing transparency is therefore a key way to bring national and EU decision-making closer to the people. Increasing transparency also promotes the future vision and foresight of the legislative process and the work of Parliament.
Where are we now?
Since February 2018, Sitra has produced and analysed large amounts of process data on legislative processes. It has also produced publications that support the overall development and systematic reform of the legislative process:
- How is a law passed in Finland? (2021, summary in English)
- How are people represented? (2020, summary in English)
- How is data used in decision-making? (2020, summary in English)
Information produced by Sitra also served as a basis for the training Perspectives on the overall development of legislative processes for people working with legislative processes.
Modelling and studies of the legislative process have been carried out in close co-operation with government and Parliament. The content training courses was designed together with the Finnish Institute of Public Management.