EU legislative processes

How transparent is Finland’s EU decision-making? Who can influence it and how? Our aim is to create an overview of the EU decision-making and legislation processes and to increase understanding of all of their stages.

What is it all about?

Describing our legislation in stages will help promote the transparency of the legislative process. It will also help to identify the stages at which member states and citizens can influence decision-making.

Increasing transparency is a key way to bring both national and EU decision-making closer to the public. Transparency also strengthens the future vision and foresight work of Parliament and the legislative process.

Material produced by Sitra shows that Finland’s EU legislative process does not sufficiently support the early-stage influencing that is considered important. However, Finland’s EU legislative process would benefit from wider public participation and prior influencing.

Finland officially emphasises strong early-stage influencing, but the practical process does not support this. Formal lobbying mainly takes place takes place late in the process (consideration of the proposal), rather than at the stage when the EU agenda takes shape (such as strategy and work programme).

What do we do?

Sitra, together with experts from QPR Software PLC, has modelled and analysed both the Finnish and EU legislative processes by performing process modelling and mining process data.

The actual progress of the legislative process, such as turnaround times and bottlenecks, have been analysed using process mining. Process data created by Parliament, the government and the EU, including tracking data about processing such as timestamps, have been gathered for the purpose of process mining.

Process data has been use to create dashboards to compare, for instance, differences in the number of EU issues processed by various ministries and committees and the duration of different stages. A separate detailed project report with the above information is available from Sitra by contacting the specialists of the Reforming the Decision-making Process project.

Sitra reviewed the findings of the modelling and data mining with experts from Parliament and government. Sitra has also interviewed parties to the EU legislative process about the topic.

In May 2022, Sitra published the report How are decisions on EU legislation made in Finland? (in Finnish) based on this work. The report showed that in order to promote the right of participation and influence enshrined in the Constitution and the EU Treaty, Finland should increase the transparency of the EU legislative process and opportunities for public participation. The process data should be opened up and made available on the government website.

Tracking data, such as timestamps, from the different processing stages of EU issues should also be increasingly used for managing and developing the process. The report also found that the most important development project to improve public engagement would be a monitoring service using process data from the EU legislative process.

A two-page summary of the report is available in English: “Finland’s EU legislative process would benefit from wider public participation and early-stage policy influencing”.

Where are we now?

Sitra shares information on the topic through its stakeholder work and provides training courses on legislative processes. Sitra also continues to mine legislative process data.

Who participates?

The topic has been studied in close co-operation with officials from the government and Parliament and with QPR Software PLC.

Contact us

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