Mental health themes increasingly important in the EU
Mental health and the development of the EU’s social dimension are among the key themes to be discussed during the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU this year. These are also among the main topics when Minister of Social Affairs and Health Hanna Sarkkinen meets the Swedish Minister for Older People and Social Security Anna Tenje and Minister for Social Affairs and Public Health Jacob Forssmed in Stockholm on 16–17 February 2023.
Sweden holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU during the first half of 2023. One of the themes of particular interest for Finland that will be discussed in different forums during the spring is mental health. President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has embraced the theme and the Commission is preparing an extensive policy initiative on the matter.
Mental health has for years been one of the EU themes that are particularly important for Finland. Finland encourages the EU to promote matters such as mental health of children and the young, mental health resilience, well-functioning services and mental health at work. The conclusions of the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the EU adopted in 2019 proposed that the EU should draw up a comprehensive mental health strategy.
Strengthening the EU’s social dimension will also be high on the agenda in the discussions during the Swedish Presidency.
Besides mental health and other topical EU affairs, the topics to be discussed both between the ministers and among public officials during the Minister’s visit include matters related to social security.
Jiri Sironen, Special Adviser to the Minister
Pasi Korhonen, Director of International Affairs
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