Finland’s rural policy aims to ensure that the Finnish countryside continues to thrive by keeping jobs and services close to people, by enhancing infrastructures including transport and telecommunications connections, and by ensuring that rural residents have housing to meet their needs and wishes.
The rural policy is place-based, and purposefully shaped to benefit rural communities and livelihoods in all of Finland’s regions. The rural policy is carried out in all sectors of society (public, private and civil society) and at all levels from the village or municipal level to the regional, national and international levels. Finland has a long tradition of village-based activities, which continue to play an important part in the practical realisation of rural policies.
OECD Rural Policy Review of Finland (2008) described Finland as a pioneer in this field, praising its unique rural policy model. Finland’s rural policy network is exceptionally extensive and horizontally based. The national Rural Policy Committee plays a central role in this network. This government-appointed committee includes representatives from rural and development institutes and key actors from regional and local organisations, as well as experts appointed from within the administrative authorities.