The Ministry of Employment and the Economy is responsible for the preparation of national legislation, objectives and strategies for regional development; it also supervises their implementation and monitoring results.
Regional development enhances competitiveness, helps to create an economic balance, develops industrial and commercial activity and supports employment.
The objective is to reduce differences in development between and within regions, while promoting citizens’ wellbeing and competence. In addition, the quality of the living environment is enhanced and a sustainable regional and community structure supported.
Objectives are specified for each term of government. In 2007, the present Government set three objectives for its administration:
1. Reinforcing the national and international competitiveness of the regions
2. Enhancing the vitality of regions and reducing regional differences in development
3. Solving special challenges facing regions
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy is tasked with implementing the objectives through industrial, employment and innovation policy. In an increasing number of cases, it must also do so through energy policy. Regional councils take the objectives into account when preparing and implementing their regional development programmes.
The European Union's regional and structural policy supports and complements Finland’s national policy. Finland’s structural fund strategy defines the objectives and priorities according to which support for various purposes is granted from Structural Funds.
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy is responsible for implementing the EU’s regional development and social fund programmes in Finland. In respect of the related issues, it also steers other actors participating in such work.
Whenever the European Union’s cohesion policy is developed and renewed, the Ministry coordinates Finland’s comments on this issue, in cooperation with other ministries and stakeholders.