One-stop services and streamlined permit procedures

The Government Programme includes a decision to reform regional state administration and set up a new permit, guidance and supervisory authority. The relevant tasks of the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira), Regional State Administrative Agencies, and units managing environmental affairs at the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment will be brought under a new national cross-administrative authority.

The aim of the legislative project on the one-stop service is to introduce a national permit, guidance and supervision model that will streamline the permit procedures with impacts on the environment, and to prepare acts that will support the one-stop service. The aim is that the new authority could get started and the legislation on the one-stop service would be in force on 1 January 2026.

In future, the new permit, guidance and supervisory authority would manage the official duties laid down in the Environmental Protection Act (527/2014), Water Act (587/2011), Waste Act (646/2011), Act on the Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure (252/2017), Nature Protection Act (9/2023), Act on the Organisation of River Basin Management and the Marine Strategy (1299/2004) and certain other acts concerning the environment (such as the Act on the Environmental Impact Assessment of Public Authorities’ Plans and Programmes 200/2005 and, in part, Land Extraction Act 555/1981 and Land Use and Building Act 132/1999). In particular, this applies to the permit, guidance and supervisory tasks and other tasks related to these within the remit of the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment. However, the reform of the regional state administration will not change the division of competences between the state and municipalities in managing official duties concerning the environment.

The aim is to introduce a one-stop service for environmental matters: in future a single state environmental authority with nationwide competence will be responsible for the progress and coordination of environmental permit and other procedures. The model combines the procedures under the key acts concerning permits in such a way that the permit application leads to a single official decision and request for review procedure.

In the legislative project on the one-stop service led by the Ministry of the Environment, provisions will be prepared that will enable the new authority to process permit applications under several acts together. The project will also examine how the EIA procedures and Natura assessments could be managed more smoothly as part of the permit procedure. The Act on the Coordination of Certain Environmental Permit Procedures will be updated and preparations made for the implementation of EU legislation related to permit procedures (including the Critical Raw Materials initiative and proposal for the Net Zero Industry Act).

Timetable of the legislative project:

  • Draft government proposal sent out for comments by summer 2024.
  • Government proposal submitted to Parliament in spring 2025.
  • New authority started and legislation on one-stop service in force on 1 January 2026.

The project will give consideration to biodiversity, environmental requirements, the social acceptability of projects and protection of people’s property.

Streamlined and predictable permit procedures promote investments and improve Finland’s competitiveness and, in particular, they are also needed for the transition into a clean economy. 

Legislative project is part of an extensive project on one-stop services

The new permit, guidance and supervisory authority to be set up under the lead of the Ministry of Finance and the legislative project on the one-stop service are part of the extensive umbrella project on one-stop services that aims to streamline permit procedures. Other projects that are linked to this include:

  • environmental objectives of water resources management and deviating from these. A working group appointed by the Ministry of the Environment will prepare a legislative amendment related to the environmental objectives of water resources management. The aim is to lay down provisions on binding environmental objectives and when deviations from these are allowed due to a new and significant project.

  • amending the regulatory framework concerning land use and construction with respect to permit procedures.

  • several other projects implementing the Government Programme entries concerning permit procedures and streamlining.

One-stop service implementation project

The Ministry of the Environment has launched a project on the implementation of the one-stop service model in tasks related to the environment. The introduction of a one-stop service requires new practices and procedures to be developed for the new permit and supervisory authority, the Finnish Supervisory Agency. The project work takes place in parallel with the implementation project of the Ministry of Finance that aims to design and establish the Finnish Supervisory Agency. 

The implementation project on environmental tasks also includes piloting the functions of a national contact point. The requirement concerning a coordinating authority for permit procedures is based on EU law. The project will also develop the implementation of the assessment procedure for environmental impacts.

Digitalisation projects to promote e-services

The implementation of a one-stop service model requires a large number of major reforms in the information systems of environmental authorities. The digital service for environmental matters will be created in cooperation between several digitalisation projects.

The project on coordinating the digitalisation of the one-stop service will ensure that the different development projects concerning specific information systems and organisations will serve the same purpose, the introduction of a one-stop digital service for environmental matters. The project on developing the information structures and interoperability of environmental protection will promote the interoperability of information on environmental protection to ensure that the information runs smoothly through the authorities’ service chain. 

More information

Johanna Korpi, Director of Legislation 
Ministry of the Environment, Permanent Secretary, Kansliapäällikön esikunta Telephone:0295250278   Email Address:

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