develop_region: 
Unknown
iso2: 
FI
iso3: 
FIN
Continent: 
Europe
Official name: 
Republic of Finland

The Finnish government wants to simplify the country's welfare system. The project is set to take at least eight years, or two electoral terms, and was set in motion on Friday as Minister for Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen announced the creation of a new committee to drive the reform forward. It’s a demanding task. In 2007 the government established a different committee to look at the issue, but that attempt failed. One reason was a lack of money, as the 2008 financial crisis squeezed state finances.

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Finland is switching up its parental leave laws, and this time, the government says they're putting children at the center. Finland's new family leave policy would give 164 "daily allowance days" to each parent, or about seven months, the country announced Wednesday. Parents would be allowed to transfer up to 69 of their own days to the other parent, if they so desired. And for single parents, the country is giving all 328 days to the parent.  The new policy, set to go into effect in fall 2021 at the earliest, is a significant step from the current rules.

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BLOG: Any ‘just transition’ worth its name must square a circle along three dimensions: effective production, fair redistribution and political feasibility. The productive puzzle is about finding the most relevant technology for the transition to get going. Will green energy be based on solar or wind? Should nuclear power be included? And any transition implies winners and losers, thus raising questions of redistribution. Should the public purse subsidise isolated housing or exempt electric cars from road tax?

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Finland's new government has announced plans to give all parents the same parental leave, in a push to get fathers to spend more time with their children. Paid allowance will increase to a combined 14 months, which works out as 164 days per parent. Neighbouring Sweden has Europe's most generous system of parental leave with 240 days each after a baby's birth.

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BLOG: Access to social and health services plays a key role in guaranteeing quality of life. This is particularly relevant for the most vulnerable in society, such as homeless people—for whom access may be particularly difficult even when services are potentially available. Studies show that strategies based on the presumption that the needs of homeless people can be met with standard services are proving ineffective. Successful policies are centred on individual needs and preferences.

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BLOG: For decades, political and economic policies have been built on the promise of helping people do better than the generations before them. But still today, in 2020, the opportunities we get in life remain largely dictated by the socio-economic circumstances we’re born into.

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The Government of Finland has renewed its commitment to support children’s rights in Syria through a generous contribution of €3 million to strengthen access and quality of learning for children across the country. The new grant will contribute to the light rehabilitation of 15 schools and provide non-formal education support and education supplies for 4,500 out-of-school children.

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BLOG: Over a year and a half after the European Commission presented its proposal for a recommendation by the Council of the European Union on access to social protection for workers and the self-employed, the council has finally adopted the long-awaited recommendation. The adoption process proved challenging, given the reluctance of some member states to accept EU influence in this arena.

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BLOG: It wasn't the news that researchers wanted. Two years after Finland launched a basic-income trial in which nearly 2,000 unemployed residents were given a regular monthly stipend, many of the recipients remained jobless. The people reported that they were happier and healthier overall than other unemployed residents, but the experiment was widely declared a failure. 

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Kela Conference 2019 brings together experts from different fields of social protection. The themes of the conference stem from the idea of reforming the social security system in Finland in a more sustainable way by considering future societal challenges. From Kela’s perspective, the main issues relate to delivering wellbeing and organising client services in our globalising and diversifying world by furthering the use of AI in delivering benefits and by enhancing equality in digitalised services.

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