The next Finnish government – if all goes as usual – will start its term around the summer of 2019. It may seem like there is an abundance of time to prepare for the next government negotiations, but it’s an illusion. All the planning, coalition-building and general preparation are already underway. One could say that the next government has already started its work.
SOTE (the Health, Social Services and Regional Government Reform) should be concluded by the time the next government starts. If it is not, politicians will not only have wasted well over a decade, but exhausted the political capital of three coalition governments. Having SOTE related questions settled, the next government would be able to focus on issues that have been ignored in recent years. Economic growth will also boost this tendency: instead of crisis management, the next coalition will be able to concentrate on proactive politics regardless of which parties form it.
From the corporate perspective, now is the golden moment to be active. It is evident that the next government’s objective will be to break economic stagnation and make Finland competitive in global markets, to promote industries and investments, and to focus on people and their education. The driving force behind change will not be political parties but civil society, especially companies.
In this situation, whose messages will be taken into account? Those who can help Finnish society become more globally competitive, and are patient enough to communicate with politicians in an open and constructive manner, will get their message through. This requires a long-term commitment and active participation in public discussion.
Be bold. If and when the new government adopts an ambitious agenda, those who have interesting initiatives and the ability to deliver will be ahead of the curve.
Juhana Harju is a partner and Simo Hiilamo is a senior consultant at Eurofacts Oy, PA, PR and Comms company.