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Nordic welfare model on the agenda for Nordic Council meeting

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 22.3.2022 8.40 | Published in English on 23.3.2022 at 10.27
Press release 73/2021

Minister of Social Affairs and Health Hanna Sarkkinen will attend a meeting of the Nordic Council in Malmö on 22 March. The meeting will discuss the Nordic welfare model and its future.

The Nordic welfare model is related not only to universal social protection but also to education, working life and gender equality. Taxation that equalises income distribution, an active civil society and a high level of trust within society also have their roles to play in the model. The welfare model creates good conditions for developing the Nordic societies into frontrunners in ecologically, socially and economically sustainable development. At the same time, phenomena such as the transformation of the labour market, the ageing of the population, urbanisation, climate change, pandemics and wars pose challenges for the future.

In her speech, Minister Sarkkinen will bring up Finland’s solutions to these challenges arising from changes in society. Such solutions include the social security reform, the family leave reform, the health and social services reform, the reform of compulsory education and the employment services reform. She will also stress the importance of promoting mental health.
Reforming the Nordic welfare model requires that ecological constraints be taken into account.

“We need to discuss ways of maintaining our welfare model in a society where wellbeing can no longer be based on the same kind of material consumption as now. We must make our economic model carbon-neutral in a way that is socially just,” says Minister Sarkkinen.

Minister Sarkkinen will also highlight the importance of the economy of wellbeing approach.  The economy of wellbeing examines the links between wellbeing and the economy and their mutually reinforcing character. This approach allows us to examine ways of combining the social, economic and ecological dimensions  of sustainability.

Finland currently holds the Presidency of the Nordic Council. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Nordic Council.


Jiri Sironen, Special Adviser to Minister Sarkkinen, tel. +358 40 450 9077
Mia Mäkinen, Senior Specialist, International Affairs Unit, tel. +358 50 465 8530

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