MDI carried out a study for the Ministry of Employment and the Economy on the operating model, process and effects of bridge agreements between the state and the regions and presented proposals for developing the operating model. In 2018–2020, the state entered into bridge agreements with Southwest Finland, Kainuu, Pirkanmaa and North-Savo to identify and resolve growth bottlenecks in these regions. According to the study, the agreements have had many positive effects, such as closer cooperation between the state and the regions. Bridge agreements have also increased the purposefulness and coherence of regional development.
Five measures are proposed to develop the bridge contract procedure:
- More precise delimitation of the focus in the area.
- Clear definition of the roles and responsibilities of regional and state representatives during the bridge contract process.
- Listing key bridge contract objectives by region, developing appropriate monitoring indicators and reviewing them every 6 months.
- Clarification of the financial package and payment of earmarked money to enable the implementation of the bridge package.
- Building a bridge contract model in such a way that it encourages and motivates all regions both for the development of their own region and for cooperation with other regions.