- Key responsibilities: effective transport and communications systems
- Leader in transport and communications policy
- Legislative authority in the transport and communications sector
- EU cooperation
- International cooperation
- Guiding and supervising the administrative sector
- Budget economy
- Licences and state subsidies
- Promoting the sector
- Press and information services
The Ministry of Transport and Communications is responsible for two broad sectors: transport policy and communications policy.
The Ministry's responsibilities include transport systems and networks, transport of people and goods, traffic safety, and issues relating to climate and the environment.
In the communications sector, the Ministry takes care of issues relating to communications networks, information security and data protection, information society policy, the mass media, and postal services.
The mission of transport policy is to provide people with opportunities for safe and smooth everyday travel, to maintain the competitiveness of businesses and to mitigate climate change by reducing emissions. Finland's location far from the main transport and logistic arteries of central Europe poses major challenges to transport policy.
The needs and viewpoints of a range of groups must be taken into account in the development of the transport system. Efficient and smooth public transport services support the attainment of transport policy objectives. The Ministry strives to promote traffic safety and the efficiency of the transport system through a variety of different measures, including intelligent transport services.
A great proportion of society's services is provided and used by means of communications services. Communications policy aims at ensuring that all households, businesses and organisations have well-functioning and reliable data connections and services. Connections must be of high quality and reasonably priced. Use of e-services must be secure. The Ministry promotes the provision of high-speed broadband access in particular. At the same time it is ensured that conventional basic services, such as postal services, are available throughout the country.
The primary task of the Ministry is law-drafting. The Ministry prepares acts, decrees and decisions that are made in Parliament, at Presidential sessions of the Government and in the Government itself. The Ministry also issues ministerial decrees.
A major part of transport and communications legislation is being drafted in the European Union. The Ministry is responsible for national-level preparations and follow up of transport and communications matters. The Minister represents Finland at the EU Transport and Telecommunications Council meetings. Ministry employees ̈take part in the preparatory work in the Council and Commission working groups.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications also participates in international work carried out at forums such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU).
The Ministry of Transport and Communications is actively involved in international cooperation not only with the other countries of the European Union but also with the other Nordic countries and with Russia and the Baltic states. The Ministry's cooperation with Russia is mainly via the Russian Federation's Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Information Technology and Communications.
The Ministry's main responsibilities also include providing strategic performance guidance in its administrative sector. The Ministry guides and supervises the operation of its agencies through setting annual performance targets and monitoring how these targets are achieved and how appropriations are used. The Ministry is also responsible for the ownership steering of state majority-owned companies in its administrative sector.
The Ministry's administrative sector covers four agencies and two state majority-owned companies, along with the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE which is directly supervised by Parliament.
Within its administrative sector, the Ministry deals with budget economy. It prepares spending limits as well as an annual budget proposal and an operating and financial plan. The Ministry also monitors the use of funds allocated to its sector in the state budget and describes their use in its annual report.
The work of the Ministry also includes matters related to licences and state subsidies. These tasks have decreased in recent years, because administration has been lightened and these matters have been transferred to regional and municipal levels. Licences are granted, for example, for the construction of mobile communications networks and for radio and television broadcasting. By purchasing services the Ministry finances public transport in sparsely populated areas, for example.
Finnish Broadcasting Company, YLE
The Ministry also takes initiatives and makes proposals concerning the taxation of transport and communications where the responsibility for drafting lies with the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry of Transport and Communications monitors the functionality of the transport and communications system and promotes balanced development of the transport and communications sectors. This work is supported by research and development.
The Ministry actively disseminates information on decisions and matters that are pending. It aims to foster lively social discussion as well as co-operation with the transport and communications sectors.
Press and Information
The Minister of Transport and Communications is the head of the Ministry and handles matters covered by the Ministry. The Minister is also responsible for matters related to the autonomy of the Åland Islands.
The most senior official at the Ministry is the Permanent Secretary. The Ministry employs some 170 people and has four departments. The departments are headed by Director-Generals. The Ministry's Communications and Controller work directly under the senior management.
Links to other websites
From the transport system committee to the Ministry of Transport and Communications
The Ministry dates back to 1892, when a transport system committee was set up in the Senate of Finland, then an autonomous Grand Duchy of the Russian empire. The committee later became the Ministry of Transport and Public Works which was further divided into the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Transport and Communications in 1970.