By Roberto Reale(*)
In the unicameral Legislative branch of Finland (Eduskunta), a country with a population of five million, there is a Committee for the Future made up of seventeen legislators (8.5% out of a total of 200) from different parties, which is responsible for making an objective analysis of reality in order to find effective solutions for long-term challenges. From the political science point of view, this Parliament, not only performs the legislating, representing and overseeing functions, but also adds the power to build up a vision through the political debate of possible scenarios.
With the purpose of deepening my knowledge about the operation of this Committee, in April I met its Chairman, Representative Tiure Marja, and Representative Harri Jaskari in Helsinki. They informed me that the Committee has been operating since 1993, and that it acquired its permanent status in 2000. They also let me know that the Committee has studied the role of education for the progress of society, the active welfare state model, climate change and energy, nanotechnology, the global challenges of food production, social exclusion, population aging and identification for radio frequency (RFID). At present, the Committee is debating on Finland’s relationship with Russia by 2030.
In Argentina, the Executive Branch has created the Ministry of Science and Technology; still, I believe that it is necessary to create a Committee for the Future in Congress (bicameral and permanent), to prospectively analyze such subjects as agro-food production, endemic diseases, clean and safe energies, human trafficking, teen pregnancy, waste treatment, drinkable and irrigation water, among others.
In Finland, the said Committee is one of the sixteen committees of Parliament. Comparatively, our Senate has twenty-four standing committees, according to the rule adopted in March 2003, and the House has forty-five, but none of them is focused on the systematic study of the future.
The creation of the Committee would mean the present watch over tomorrow's job, the ensuring of a sustainable progress, a responsible freedom and an efficient consumption, with a proactive attitude towards solidarity, peacefully planning the next ten years horizon, which will favor investment, employment, safety, health and education.
This initiative demands an institutional innovation in the National Legislative Branch, with no fights for the spotlight but jointly acting as a unity, because to transcend is to look out for the common good. There are no prestigious representatives and senators without a prestigious Congress and vice versa.
Legislators, with utmost respect, I invite you to form the Committee for the Future in the Bicentennial of Argentina.
(*) Roberto Reale is 32 years old; he has a degree in Political Science from the University of Buenos Aires and has finished the Master's degree program in Data Mining at the Universidad de Bologna (Master thesis in progress). At present he holds the position of Good Governance Assistant to Governor of the Province of Buenos Aires Daniel Scioli. In addition, he is Chairman of Fundación Ciudad Política and creator of same-name web site. He is also member of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) and Sociedad Argentina de Análisis Político (SAAP).
In spanish: http://www.parlamentario.com/articulo-5030.html