Govt to launch new partnership with 6 major cities

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The government will strengthen urban policy by forming a strategic alliance with Finland’s largest cities, said an official press release on Friday.

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo will chair the alliance while Minister of Local and Regional Government Anna-Kaisa Ikonen will act as vice-chair.

The group will include the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Tampere, Vantaa, Oulu and Turku. The cooperation group aims to solve challenges facing both the central government and large cities more effectively. Such challenges include the availability of skilled labour and the improving of competences.

“We will transform cooperation between the central government and large cities into a new, more equal partnership. By joining the resources and capabilities of the central government and large cities we can solve the current challenges better and more effectively,” said Minister of Local and Regional Government Anna-Kaisa Ikonen.

The strategic alliance is based on the idea that large cities are the engines of Finland’s economy and innovation.

More than half of Finland’s gross domestic product is generated in the six largest cities, and innovations are largely born in cities globally.

“Because large cities benefit the entire Finnish economy and society, it is worthwhile to strengthen them. Moreover, the work done in cities to mitigate climate change and reduce segregation, for example, is key to Finland’s success,” Ikonen added.

A secretariat has been appointed to prepare the work and first cooperation themes of the urban alliance. In addition to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Local and Regional Government and cities, the Alliance will also include representatives from other ministries. As the work progresses, ministry experts in given themes will join the work of the alliance.

Cooperation with cities will also continue in the Urban Policy Committee, which will be reappointed soon. The Committee will include 23 cities, representation of regional cities, the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities and various ministries. The Urban Policy Committee will thereby strengthen the urban policy work as a whole.

Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

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