Finland/ 5.2 Legislation on culture  

Table 10 below gives an overall view of current legislation, which addresses directly cultural policy issues or indirectly shapes them. The left hand column lists acts and also their most relevant recent amendments, which, in a way, tell the history of debates and objectives after they have become enacted as legislation. The comments in the right hand column summarise the content and cultural policy relevance of the listed legislative act. The code numbers of the acts link them to Finlex, the database / information system of Finnish legislation.

Table 10 in toto demonstrates the supremacy of Parliament as the final instance in deciding not only annual state budgets but also administrative structure and functions of central and local (municipal) administration. The horizontal decentralisation of the Finnish cultural policy system that was reviewed in chapter 2.3 is reflected in the laws and decrees found throughout the Table, but are most apparent in Section I. The role of agencies and arm's length bodies, regional authorities and the autonomous local administration (municipalities) becomes apparent in the sections II and Section III listing the more specific legislation on public financing of the arts and culture; Section IV presents the legislation on national cultural and art institutions and municipal cultural services and Sections V and VI expand the scope of relevant legislation to cover adult education and arts education and training. Sections VII-XIII cover special target areas of cultural policies ranging from media polices to International cultural co-operation. The long list of acts and other legal enactments bears witness of the loyalty to a social welfare state but some crucial amendments, e.g. those of legislation on municipal autonomy, the status and role of universities and promotion of the arts, indicate that the old model is going through major processes of transformation.

Table 10:  Current legislation pertaining to cultural policy and cultural administration in Finland

MAIN CATEGORIES OF CULTURAL POLICY LEGISLATION

COMMENTS

I. CULTURAL POLICY DECISION-MAKING AND ADMINISTRATION

Decree of the Ministry of Education and Culture (310/2010; Ordinance on the Organisation and Functions of the Ministry of Education (380/2003, frequent amendments).

These enactments stipulate the structure and functioning of the Ministry. The higher legislative basis consists of the Constitution (731/1999); the Act on the Council of State 175/2003; the Ordinance on the Organisation and Functions of the Ministries (262/2003, frequent amendments).

Promotion of the Arts Act (328/1967, amended 635/1997, 366/2000, 667/2002, 283/2004, 1236/2007, 889/2009, 1134/2010)

These enactments have created the present system of national and regional arts councils. The new revised act creating the Finnish Arts Promotion Centre was passed in the Parliament in 2012 and the law came into effect 1 January 2013.

Act (1401/2006) and Decree (311/2007) on the (EU) Structural Funds

Organises the relationship between the national authorities and administrative units in planning, financing and implementing the programmes financed within the framework of EU Structural Funds

Decree of the Ministry of Education on the jurisdiction of the Board of Education and Province Offices in the Management of Structural Funds Administration (933/2001)

Delegates the planning, implementing and decision-making functions of the Ministry on the EU Structural Funds Programme to the Board of Education and Provincial Offices

Act on the National Board of Antiquities (282/2004, original 31/1972, amended 1016/1987, 1080/2001)

Defines the task and organisation of the main expert and policy implementing body of heritage policies.

Decree on the National Board of Antiquities (417/2004)

Specifies the Act on the Board of Antiquities e.g. in respect of the status of the National Museum

Act on Finnish National Gallery (Art Museum) Act (566/2000, amended 504/2004; original Act 186/1990)

Provides legal basis for an umbrella organisation of three state-owned art museums of domestic, foreign and contemporary art.

Act on National Audiovisual Archive 1434/2007 expands the tasks of the earlier Finnish Film Archive by including radio and television programmes in the archival material.

Organises the national administration of archiving films, television and radio programmes

Act on preserving and archiving cultural material 1433/2007

Specifies the division of labour between different preservation and archiving organisations and the scope of their preserving tasks.

Act on the Library for the Visually Impaired (638/1996, amended 835/1998, originally 11/1978)

Provides national book services for the visually impaired

Decree on the Board for Specific Grants to Visual Artists (116/1997)

Organises the administration of compensation for displaying public art works in public places

Act on the Classification of Audiovisual Programmes (775/2000) and on  the Board of Film Classification (776/2000, amended 1013/2004)

Age classification of programmes for the protection of children against exhibition of pornography and violence; violations punishable according to Chapter 17 of the Finnish Penal Code

Film Promotion Act  (28/2000, amended 611/2002, 668/2002)

Provides a legal basis for the activities of the Finnish Film Foundation (founded in 1969) to support national film production

II. PROMOTING THE ARTS, ARTISTS AND CREATIVITY

Act on (Art Professors' and) Artists' State-Grants (734/1969,main  amended 143/1995 before amendment 1135/2010, which abolished Arts professors' posts; Decree on artists' state-grants 1200/2010 

Provides the legislative basis for the artists' state grants system

Promotion of the Arts Act (328/1967, amended 635/1997, 366/2000, 667/2002, 283/2004, 1236/2007, 889/2009, 1134/2010)

These enactments have created the present system of national and regional arts councils. The new revised act creating the Finnish Arts promotion Centre was passed in the Parliament in 2012 and the law came into effect 1 January 2013.

Act on Grants and Subsidies for Authors and Translators (236/1961, amended 1080/83, 1067/1993, 1272/1994, 1358/1995, 1040/1996 249/2002, 665/2002)

Provides grants to authors and translators to compensate the library use of their works; since 2000 music creators and performers have received these compensation grants

Act on Some Specific Grants for Visual Artists (115/1997, amended 664/2002)

Provides grants for visual artists for the public display of their works

Government Resolution on Supplementary Pensions for Artists (75/1974, amendment 974/1992 abolishes the nationality / citizenship requirement)

Provides additional pensions for senior artists and finances their artistic work

Act concerning State Indemnity for Art Exhibitions (411/1986, amended 639/1991, 336/1994, 390/1997, 1116/2001)

Guarantees insurance for the organiser of art exhibitions

Act on the Pensions of Artists and Some Particular Groups of Short-Time Workers (662/1985, amended frequently).

Safeguards the pension payments and pension rights in short-term employment contracts that are typical for musicians and performing artists

III. FINANCING CULTURAL AND ART INSTITUTIONS AND CULTURAL SERVICES

Act on Central Government Transfers to Municipal Basic Services (1704/2009), renews the transfer legislation, which aggregates most important ("basic") transfer systems and relocates them to be administered as one single package in the  Ministry of Finance

General financing law, defining the relative share of the state and municipalities in producing basic public services and provides the basic rules for calculating and allocating the transfer of state subsidies to municipalities.

Act on Financing Education and Culture (originally 705/1992; now 1705/2009), main amendments 1186/1999, 1071/2005.

Specific "Financing Law"defining the rules for calculating and allocating central government transfers (subsidies) to municipal and non-profit local service organisations including professional local and regional theatres, museums, and orchestras

Lottery Act (1047/2001) and Pool Betting Decree (241/1993)

The Act and the decree give the government the right to contract a monopoly of 1) lottery / lotto, football pools and betting, 2) slot-machines and casinos, and 3) harness race betting to their appropriate organisers; orders the returns to be channelled to the state budget and earmarks their use to specific "good" causes

Act Regulating the Use of the Profits of Lottery / Lotto, and Sports Betting (1054/2001).

Defines the share of the annual returns of lottery / lotto, and sports betting as follows: 25% to sports, 9% to youth policy measures, 17.5% for scientific research and 38.5% to the arts; 10% left for annual discretionary distribution for these purposes.

Government Decree on Organising Lotteries (1345/2001)

Specifies the technical rules for minor (non-monetary prize) lotteries organised e.g. by voluntary associations to finance "good causes"

IV. PROFESSIONAL CULTURAL AND ART INSTITUTIONS AND MUNICIPAL CULTURAL SERVICES

Act on the National Board of Antiquities (282/2004, original 31/1972, amended 1016/1987, 1080/2001)

Defines the task and organisation of the main expert and policy implementing body of heritage policies.

Decree on the National Board of Antiquities (407/2004)

Specified the Act on the Board of Antiquities e.g. in respect of the status of the National Museum

Act on Finnish National Gallery (566/2000, amended 504/2004, previous Act 185/1990)

Provides an umbrella organisation for three state-owned art museums (those of domestic, foreign and contemporary art). This act is currently being amended and will come into effect 1 January 2014 as the FNG will start operating as a foundation. 

Act on National Audiovisual Archive 1434/2007 expands the tasks of the earlier Finnish Film Archive by including radio and television programmes in the archival material.

Organises the national administration of archiving films, television and radio programmes

Act on preserving and archiving cultural material 1433/2007

Specifies the division of labour between different preservation and archiving organisations and the scope of their preserving tasks.

Act on the Library for the Visually Impaired ( 638/1996, amended 835/1998, originally 11/1978)

Provides national printed and audio book services for the visually impaired

Municipal Cultural Activities Act (728/1992)

Legislative basis for the central government transfers for support and management of non-institutional cultural activities in municipalities

Museums Act (729/1992, amended 1959/1995, 1166/1996, 877/2005, 1076/2005)

Legislative basis defining professional museums eligible for central government subsidies according to the "Financing Law"

Theatres and Orchestras Act (730/1992. Parliament has recently passed an amendment (1066/2007), which, as a criterion of professionalism emphasises artistic aspirations over and above sheer commercial success.

Legislative basis defining professional theatres and orchestras eligible for central government subsidies according to the "Financing Law"

(Public) Library Act (904/1998), is specified by Decree 1078/1998 defining the tasks of the central Library  and regional libraries in the public library system 

Legislative basis defining the tasks of public (municipal) libraries eligible for central government subsidies according to the "Act on general government transfers to municipalities"

Act on Discretionary Government Transfers(688/2001)

Act lays down the grounds and procedures that apply to granting discretionary government transfers (occasional grants-in-aid) to socially or culturally important activities or projects.

V. ADULT EDUCATION

Act on Vocational Adult Education (631/1998, amended  1292/2004, 1200/2004)

A new integrating law that professionalises the traditional forms of voluntary adult education and lays the ground for public support

Act on Liberal Adult Education (632/1998, amended 1765/2009)

Defines the prevailing forms of general voluntary adult education, affirms their position and type of management and also affirms their type and level of public financing.

VI. ARTS EDUCATION AND TRAINING OF THE ARTISTS

Higher Education Development Act (1052/1986, amended 1207/1993, 943/1996, 1279/2001)
Repealed by Act  558/2009, see below

 

Universities Act (558/2009), this new Act is a kind of desetatisation law dividing existing universities in two modes of management, either as public corporations or foundation-based institutions.

Defines the units, structure, functioning and financing and management of the two types of universities 

Act on Basic Education in the Arts (originally 424/1992, now 633/1998, several amendments since 2000)

Integrates the organisation of extracurricular art education for children and youth and lays the basis for its public financing

Vocational Education Act (630/1998, frequent amendments

Legislative basis for lower vocational education, including culture (handicraft, design, audiovisual media, visual expression, dance and music )

Polytechnics Act (351/2003 and Decree (351/2003)

Define the objectives and organisation of polytechnic education, including higher professional / vocational education in the arts, culture, media and humanities. New legislation for polytechnics is being developed on a government proposal from 2012, to be in operation from 1.1.2014.

Act on Pilot Programme on Postgraduate Studies in Polytechnic Institutions (645/2001). The Act was enforced up to 31.7.2005

A further step to remodel polytechnics' degree structure to that of universities

VII. BROADCASTING, FILM, MASS MEDIA, CULTURE INDUSTRIES

Film Art Promotion Act (28/2000)

This Act provides a legal basis for the functioning of the Finnish Film Institute

Decree on the Promotion of Film Art (843/2007)

Specifies the previous Act

Act on Radio and Television Activities (744/1998)

Defines the prerequisites for the broadcasting operations and their licensing by public authorities

Act on the Finnish Broadcasting Company (FBC, 1380/1993, amended 746/1998). A new act repeals these acts from January 1 2013.

Defines the role of the FBC as a public service radio and television company and defines the mode of its (parliamentary) control. The new act, in operation since January 1 2013, establishes the new model for the governance of and a taxation-based model for the financing of the FBC.

Act on Audiovisual Programmes (710/2011) and the Act on the Finnish Centre for Media Education and Audiovisual Programmes (711/2011).

These acts repeal the former acts on age classification of programmes for the protection of children against exhibition of pornography and violence and establish a centre for media education and audiovisual media which started to operate in 2012. 

VIII. TAXATION

Act on Value Added Tax (1501/1993), especially amendments 1265/1997, 1071/2002 and 1202/2011 paragraph 85a that defines a lower tax rate (initially 8% and after amendment 1202/2011 a rate of 9%) for cultural products (initially only books, but from 2012 also newspaper and journal subscriptions which before had a tax rate of 0%) and cultural and entertainment services.

Several amendments due to the EU directives, the latest (1071/2002) extended the law to cover the trade of art objects.

Decree on Value Added Tax (50/1994)

Specifies the previous law

IX. FREE COMPETITION

Act on Competition Restrictions (480/1992), major amendment 400/2003, 447-448/2004, (318/2004)
Act on the Finnish Competition Authority (711/1988)
Decree on the Finnish Competition Authority (66/1993)
Market Court Act (1527/2001)

Basis of the Finnish legislation on competition restriction and it administration; harmonised to correspond to the EU directives

X. COPYRIGHT AND NEIGHBOURING RIGHTS

Copyright Act (original 174/1927, now 404/1961, twenty-one amendments). The latest amendment bill precipitated by the Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society was after a long preparation and decision-making process passed by Parliament in 2005. These amendments, (821/2005) although formally a part of the 1961 leg., are often referred to as the "Karpela Act" after the name of the Minister of Culture

Numerous special amendments due to the EU copyright directives and international agreements; an extensive system of copyright organisations has evolved for the enforcement of the law and for collecting and distributing the revenues of copyright compensation. Parallel to this process, Parliament has decided on the ratification of the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Treaty on Performances and Phonograms.

Amendment 1228/2006 of the 1961 Copyright Act and of the Act on Grants and Subsidies for Authors and Translators (236/1961)

Instead of compensation through the grant system financed from the State Budget the amendment stipulates establishing a rights owners' contractual collective licence system The restriction preventing individual loan compensations is annulled.

Amendment of the Copyright Act 446/1995, establishing the resale compensation system for the works of visual artists

In the "new" copyright legislation a new Amendment (45/2006) alters the management of resale compensation collection to correspond to the overall approach of the new copyright legislation. The new contractual collective management system is still under construction.

XI. CULTURAL HERITAGE

Museums Act (729/1992, amended 1459/1995, 1166/1996, 1076/2005)

Legal basis for professional museum activities and their organisation

Act on Archaeological Sites  (295/1963, several amendments in 1995-2009

Provides legislative basis for the protection of sites and their excavation

Archives Act (831/1994, previous Act 184/1981)

Provides legislative basis for the National Archive system and for the principles regarding the deposit of relevant archive materials and support for public and private archives

Decree on Archives (1012/1982)

Specifies the previous Act

Act on National Audiovisual Archive 1434/ 2007 expands the tasks of the earlier Finnish Film Archive by including radio and television programmes in the archival material.

Organises the national administration of archiving, and radio and television programmes

Act on preserving and archiving cultural material 1433/2007

Specifies the division of labour between different preservation and archiving organisations and the scope of their preservation tasks.

Build Heritage Protection Act  498/2010 (originally Building Protection Act 60/1985, repealed by  the present Act)

Provides a legislative resort for the protection of historically and architecturally significant buildings and sites

Act on Restricting Export of Objects of Cultural Value (previously 445/1978, now 115/1999)

Takes into consideration the Council Regulation (EEC) 3911/1992

Act on the Administration of the Suomenlinna Fortress (1145/1988)

Provides the legislative basis for the administration of a fortress site that belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage List

XII. MINORITIES AND IMMIGRANTS

Finnish Constitution (731/1999), paragraph 17

Defines the Swedish language as a parallel national language to Finnish, specifies Sami, Roma and Finnish Sign Language as minority languages; designates Sami as an indigenous culture and stipulates the rights of the Sami and other minority groups to develop their own culture

Language Act (423/2003, originally 148/1922) ) and Sami Language Act (1080/2003, originally 516/1991)

The Language Act specifies the right and obligation for official use of the two national languages in different proportional Swedish-Finnish population contexts. The Sami Language Act provides for the right to use the Sami language officially at least through interpretation and to receive official documents in Sami.

Decree on the Board for Developing the Official Use of the Swedish Language (1037/2000)

Provides an agency for co-ordinating and developing the official use of the Swedish language

Finnish Constitution, paragraph 121

Guarantees cultural autonomy for the Sami living in Sami Homeland municipalities

Act on the Sami Parliament (974/1995, amended 975/1995, 1726/1995, 888/1996)

Provides the legislative basis for the advisory elected body that must be heard in Sami affairs. Defines also the borders of Sami Homeland

Act on the Autonomy of Aland (144/1991)

Stipulates the internationally and constitutionally confirmed autonomy of the province of Aland

Finnish Constitution, Chapter 2

Deals with human rights issues from general equality and discrimination to educational rights and rights to own native language and culture

Aliens Act (301/2004, frequent amendments, the amendment 973/2007 is basically in itself a new Act)

Stipulates the rules for foreigners to enter and stay in Finland, defines their human and political rights and rights to stay and unite with their family members; the law has been amended frequently; the latest comprehensive Amendment (973/2007) depicts a complex network of authorities and long chain of scrutiny facing an immigrant or a refuge seeker.

Decree on Labour Offices Authorised to Carry out Tasks Stipulated in the Aliens Act, 421/2006

Specifies the previous law, defines its implementers at regional level of the state administration

Act on the Integration of Immigrants and Reception of  Refugees (493/1999, amended 118/2002, 1292/2002, 1215/2005)

Guarantees the material and economic basis for the immediate care and integration of immigrants and refugees

Decree on the Integration of Immigrants and Reception of Refugees (511/1999)

Specifies the previous law

XIII. INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL CO-OPERATION

Decree on the National Entry into Force of the Constitution of UNESCO (549/1956, amended 426/1967)

International agreements, conventions, charters, etc. are entered into force by national legislation (by acts of Parliament or decrees) that incorporate them into national legislation or amends the latter as required.

Decree on the National Commission for UNESCO (1262/2002, repeals decree 163/1966 and amendment1168/1992)

See the comment above

Decree on the National Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Council of Europe (410/1989)

See the comment above

Decree on the National Entry into Force of the European Cultural Convention (98/1970)

See the comment above

Decree on the National Entry into Force of the Nordic Cultural Treaty (909/1971)

See the comment above

Decree on the National Entry into Force of the Statutes of the Nordic Cultural Fund (199/1977)

See the comment above

XIV. THE MAJOR INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS, CHARTERS AND AGREEMENTS ON HUMAN AND CULTURAL RIGHTS RATIFIED BY FINLAND

  • ·ICCPR, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
  • ·ICESCR, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • ·CERD, Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
  • ·CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • ·CEDAW, Convention Eliminating All kinds of Discrimination Against Women
  • ·European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
  • ·European Charter for the Protection of Regional or Minority Languages
  • ·European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
  • ·European Social Charter
  • ·Protocol No 3 on the Act of Accession to the European Union
  • ·UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
  • ·UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage
 

Finland co-operates on a national basis and as a Member State of the European Union with the following international organisations in minority issues: the United Nations, Council of Europe, Council of the Baltic Sea States, OSCE, ILO, UNESCO.

Source:    databank FINLEX http://www.finlex.fi/en/


Chapter published: 25-04-2017


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