Finland proactively promotes Economy of Wellbeing

Determined efforts to promote the Economy of Wellbeing started in 2019 as part of Finland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union. At that time, the Economy of Wellbeing was chosen as one of the main themes of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The conclusions adopted by the Council of the European Union at the end of Finland’s Presidency stressed the importance of education, social security, gender equality, healthcare and safe and healthy working conditions. 

Finland has continued to promote the economy of wellbeing actively both nationally and internationally. 

National Steering Group of the Economy of Wellbeing

In February 2021, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health appointed a steering group on the economy of wellbeing. Its task is to prepare a national action plan to integrate the economy of wellbeing approach into knowledge-based decision-making. 

The steering group is responsible for drawing up an action plan suitable for Finnish conditions. The action plan will include measures to make the economy of wellbeing part of knowledge-based decision-making and processes in the Government. The chair of the steering group is Permanent Secretary Veli-Mikko Niemi of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

This close inter-sectoral collaboration seeks to ensure that central and local governments and civil society build an economy of wellbeing together. 

Priorities for promoting the Economy of Wellbeing

The Government of Finland has a national Economy of Wellbeing Action Plan for years 2023-2025. An international group of high level experts from relevant organizations such as the EU-Commission, OECD, WHO, the World Bank, etc. supported the preparation of this Action Plan through an International High Level Experts’ Group on the Economy of Wellbeing. Besides supporting Finland, the Expert Group decided to publish its outcomes as a discussion paper.  

This Paper seeks to enhance further global dialogue and progress on the Economy of Wellbeing by summarizing some of the highlights and lessons learned from the national process in Finland and from the discussions of the International High Level Group. All partners are welcome to make use of this summary note in the best ways possible. 

The Economy of Wellbeing is a decision-making approach where the solutions found by examining the links between various components of wellbeing and the economy help to achieve a better balance between the economic, social and ecological dimensions of sustainability. 

Wellbeing Economy Governments (WEGo)

Finland is part of the Wellbeing Economy Governments (WEGo) partnership. WEGo is a collaboration of national and regional governments, whichshareexpertise and transferrable policy practices. Members are Scotland, Iceland, New Zealand, Finland, Wales and Canada. These countries have taken practical measures to promote the Economy of Wellbeing approach.
Officials from the respective governments share experience and expertise in the WEGo Policy Labs. Policy labs are a forum in which to engage in practical exchange on specific policy areas of shared interest, in pursuit of enhanced wellbeing for current and future generations.

Economy of Wellbeing in the European Union

In the EU, the implementation of the Council conclusions on the Economy of Wellbeing is linked to the Commission’s strategy and work programme, which includes implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights and numerous other programmes. Holistic thinking is present in the Commission’s political priorities, such as an economy that works for the people. According to the EU Environment Action Programme to 2030, the EU should move towards a sustainable wellbeing economy, based on the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Read more: