Finnish delegation visits the Netherlands

On Tuesday 29 October, the Netherlands Council for Scientific Government Policy (WRR) received a Finnish delegation that was visiting the Netherlands in the context of a benchmarking trip. The meeting, the theme of which was strategic science-based policy advice, was small scale and led to new insights in this field.

Photo of the Finnish delegation at the WRR

Finnish delegation at the WRR

Finland is currently reconsidering the structure of its strategic science-based policy advice. Risto Nieminen (president), Jakkoo Kuosmanen (academy secretary) and Pekka Aula (secretary general) of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters visited the Netherlands within the framework of learning from other European countries. One of the elements of this visit was a round-table discussion, organized by the WRR, the objective of which was to give insight into the diversity of science-based policy advice and research in the Netherlands. Representatives from a number of advisory bodies, committees and scientific institutes attended.

Wealth of advisory bodies

The members of the Finnish delegation were impressed by the wealth of Dutch institutes, each with its own expertise, tasks and working methods, and were also struck by the statutory embedding and contacts between the institutes. In addition, the possibilities and challenges of science-based policy advice were discussed and how different parties are involved, preferably at an early stage, in arriving at advice. By comparing working methods, a constructive discussion arose about the various ways in which the Finnish model could take inspiration from the Dutch one.

International exchange of ideas

Both the Finnish delegation and the WRR are members of the European Science Advisory Forum. The members of ESAF exchange knowledge on science-based advice mechanisms in European countries in order to improve these mechanisms. Exchanges like this improve the international network and, at the same time, contribute to the further refinement of the tasks and methods in the countries themselves.