Background and report


Minister Sirpa Paatero appointed a working group to prepare a National Dialogue model. The term of the working group was 15th of January 2022 until the 31st of May 2022.

The working group was given the objective of creating a model for national dialogues based on the practices established in the Lockdown Dialogues. The aim of the National Dialogue model is to create a new model for implementing social dialogue in cooperation between citizens, communities and authorities. In the National Dialogues, issues important to people and communities are discussed in a way that strengthens inclusion and creates an understanding of different challenges and opportunities based on people’s experiences.

In concrete terms, this is a series of interlocutory dialogues that last for as long a period as possible and involves as many different people and communities as possible. The purpose of the dialogues is to use the participants’ experiences to build an understanding and up-to-date picture of various social phenomena, challenges and opportunities.

The Finnish National Dialogue model is not a political process and it does not aim for consensus-based or consensus-based decision-making. The aim is to gain as many voices as possible of people’s experiences and the challenges at hand. The aim is to strengthen inclusion, cohesion and the ability of Finnish society to change in various ecological, economic and social challenges through broader social dialogue than at present.

In addition to creating and introducing the model, the task of the working group was to plan how the model could be used and utilised both in central government and elsewhere, such as regions, municipalities, organisations and the international arena. The working group has also started to put together a network of National Dialogue organisers and to create practices that encourage actors to participate in the dialogue and to increase their own expertise in the organisation of the dialogue.

At the request of the Ministry of Finance, the OECD (Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development) produced an assessment of Finland’s confidence in 2020-2021 (OECD Trust review of Finland 2021) and an assessment of civil society’s operating conditions (OECD civic space Scan on Finland 2021). In both assessments, the OECD recommended that Finland create and implement a model for National Dialogues based on the Lockdown Dialogues.

The members of the working group were Network Coordinator Riitta Honkanen from the City of Rovaniemi, Executive Director Ulla Siimes from the Finnish child Welfare Centre, Director Kai Alhanen and Director Janne Kareinen from the dialogue Academy, Director Päivi Hirvola from Sitra, Communications Manager Päivi Tampere from the Prime Minister’s Office and Senior Ministerial Adviser Katju Holkeri and Senior Specialist Ira Alanko from the Ministry of Finance.