RegeRa – Governments Report on State Ownership

Photo: David Fintz (Unsplash)

The RegeRa project is a state ownership-themed comparative research project started in 2018. The collaborative project is carried out by researchers at the University of Vaasa and at Lund University. The purpose of the project is to analyze and compare how Finnish and Swedish governments report on and legitimize state ownership in their annual reports during the years 2007‒2018.

The Finnish and Swedish states are significant company owners. State-owned enterprises are topical and interesting research objects, as their status is a political issue that is being discussed regularly. Over the years, changing market and societal conditions have changed the scope and focus of state ownership, and both privatization and corporatizations have taken place. The role of the state as an owner has also changed. Today, the state is described as an active owner: the Finnish government has also stated that its goal is to make state ownership a tool for active social renewal. An active ownership role also includes awareness of ethical issues.

The UN Agenda for Sustainable Development (Agenda 2030) and its global goals for sustainable development have been taken into account in the state ownership policy starting from the years 2016‒2017. The agenda has been included in the annual reports from 2016 in Sweden and from 2017 in Finland. In the second phase of the RegeRA research project, we are particularly interested in comparing how Agenda 2030 is taken into account in Finnish and Swedish annual state ownership reports.

The project is funded by Vasa Aktia Foundation (2018‒2020), Svensk-Österbottninska samfundet (2019) and Letterstedtska föreningen (2017).