July 21, 2017

In Finland, the government holds high stakes in private organizations through generous public funding, often making the private organizations more concerned with the needs of the government than the people. A large source of the public funding is taken straight from the taxpayers through the state lottery and gaming system.

Libera Foundation, an Atlas Network partner based in Helsinki, has created a database of government involvement in civil life, where consumers can take a look at how much money an organization is receiving from the government. Libera is focused on the lottery and gaming system because it is a major source of waste and creates a legal grey area where the government is able to pick and choose favorites.

Libera also recently published “Golden Fetters, 10 Steps Towards a Freer Civil Society”, a study that argues for a genuine civil society with reduced public funding from the government, a modification of funding allocation criteria, and a complete removal of the subsidies from the lottery and gaming system. Heikki Pursianen, a Finnish economist and Libera’s executive director, presented part of the study at a recent conference, explaining how to create a vibrant civil society based on voluntarism and private funding.

Pursianen hopes to foster an arena of thought for Finnish people interested in a society where freedom and responsibility meet.