- Transport and communications connections and services
- A legislative authority in the transport and communications sector
- European Union cooperation
- International cooperation
- Guiding and supervising the administrative sector
- Budget economy
- Licences and state subsidies
- Ministry communications
The Ministry of Transport and Communications is responsible for the provision of safe and secure transport and communications connections and services. It also enables the use of new digital services. The aim is to create a favourable operating environment for the services and new business models.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications implements the strategic Government Programme within its sectors. A cross-cutting theme in the Government Programme is digitalisation.
One of the Ministry's main responsibilities is law drafting. Government proposals drafted at the Ministry are discussed at government plenary sessions. The Ministry is also responsible for the preparation of decrees in the transport and communications sectors. It can also issue its own decrees.
The focus in law drafting of the Ministry of Transport and Communications is mainly on the implementation of EU legislation.
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 of Transport and Communications represents Finland at the meetings of the EU Transport and Telecommunications Council. Operating within the EU means that influence is actively exerted before decisions are made. 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 International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International 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 and monitors their development. The group strategy for the Ministry of Transport and Communications’ administrative branch implements the Government Programme. The strategy provides guidance for the entire administrative branch. Performance targets are set for the agencies every year. The Ministry is also responsible for the ownership steering of state majority-owned companies in its administrative sector.
One of the core tasks of transport and communications policy is to guide the sectoral agencies. Agencies within the Ministry's administrative branch include the Finnish Transport Agency, the Transport Safety Agency, the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The Ministry guides their operation and makes sure that their performance targets and operations are in line with the Government Programme.
The Ministry is also responsible for governance steering of Finavia Oy and Finnpilot Pilotage Oy. The companies have societal duties that are laid down in legislation.
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.
The goals of the Ministry are promoted through communications and stakeholder cooperation. Communications increases the ability of the Ministry, administrative branch and stakeholders to discuss, participate and take a stand on matters in preparation and take part in the decision making process. Open, anticipatory communications and interactive cooperation with the stakeholders form the basis of communications in the entire administrative branch.
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 that fall within the mandate of the Ministry of Justice.
The most senior official at the Ministry is the Permanent Secretary. The Ministry employs some 140 people and has four departments: Ministerial Governance Department, Services Department, Data Department, and Networks Department. The departments, which are subdivided into units, are headed by Director-Generals. The Ministry’s Communications and Controller work directly under the senior management.
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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.