Rural Policy Declaration

Finland’s first national Rural Parliament in 2017 culminated in a national declaration on the future of rural development. The declaration is titled ‘Enabling Success in the Countryside’,

Enabling Success in the Countryside

The national declaration details actions and objectives that are important to Finnish society which will be incorporated into political debate on both a national and European level. The objective is to bring a stronger rural perspective to policies and decision-making processes.

Every government organisation in the country has a role to play in promoting the declaration and its objectives. The most important role is played by the Rural Policy Council.

The declaration calls for the following actions:

  1. Different regional features and seasonal population fluctuations need to be better represented in key figures and statistics. This is the only way to really understand the characteristics and needs of different regions, which is crucial for finding customised solutions.
  2. Impacts on rural areas must be studied and taken into account proactively in the making and implementation of decisions with the help of, for example, rural proofing.
  3. The tangible resources of rural areas must be put to sustainable use in a way that strengthens local and regional operating environments, and respects local and regional operators.

The declaration also identifies a number of themes, including the following:

  • National prosperity through entrepreneurship and employment
  • Comfortable lives and flourishing business through functional infrastructure
  • Better services through cooperation and digitalisation
  • Success through the ability and willingness to learn
  • Wellbeing through social inclusion and participation

The declaration is due to be reviewed in 2021

The 2017 declaration was announced at the end of Finland’s first national Rural Parliament in Leppävirta on 3 September 2017.

The declaration is due to be reviewed and revised in connection with the next Rural Parliament, which will be held in Kurikka in 2021.