Finland’s Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2021
Finland held the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2021. The Nordic Council of Ministers is the official body for intergovernmental cooperation in the Nordic Region. The Nordic Council of Ministers seeks Nordic solutions wherever and whenever the countries can achieve more together than by working on their own.
During Finland’s Presidency, Finland underscored the Nordic Council of Ministers’ vision of the Nordic Region becoming the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030. The vision focuses on a green, competitive and socially sustainable Nordic Region.
In the social welfare and health sector, the key themes of Finland’s Presidency included the COVID-19 pandemic and cooperation on preparedness, health and social services in sparsely populated areas, the use of health data and registers, public health, the economy of wellbeing, and Nordic cooperation in the international arena.
In the equality and LGBTI sector, Finland’s priorities included equality in early childhood education and care, care leave and paternity leave for men, the prevention of violence and hate crimes against sexual and gender minorities (LGBTI), and hate speech and sexual harassment against women online.
With regard to MSAH’s administrative sector, the Presidency went as planned and was, on the whole, successful. However, Finland’s Presidency was largely defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a substantial impact on various areas of Nordic societies and Nordic cooperation. Over 90 events were organised during the year. Of these, more than 20 were ministerial events and over 10 were meetings of committees of senior officials.
Project to promote cross-border mobility through digitalisation (2021–2023)
During Finland’s Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2021, a project was launched with the aim of using digitalisation to improve flexibility in daily life and cross-border mobility between the Nordic countries and the Baltic countries. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health participates in the digital health part of the project, which focuses on shared solutions concerning e-prescriptions and patient documentation.