An independent welfare policy evaluation council could be set up in Finland, which would regularly carry out a comprehensive evaluation of well-being and equality, Archbishop Emeritus Kari Mäkinen's working group suggests. The working group proposes measures to strengthen well-being and equality in the aftercare of the corona epidemic in Finland.
Mäkinen estimates that not all the effects related to human well-being, among others, are yet visible, because we are still living in the midst of this exceptional situation. These will only become apparent in the longer term.
- The corona crisis has revealed the strengths of Finnish society and breaking points in well-being, Mäkinen says in a press release.
Ethical pillars and civil society Finland's strengths
The working group highlights the strengths of Finnish society, which are important in facing the corona crisis.
There are three strengths highlighted: the fundamental ethical pillars, the strength of the Finnish welfare model and the key role of civil society.
The basic ethical pillars that guide the development of society are, among other things, indivisible and equal dignity.
The strength of the Finnish welfare model is the universal system, supplemented by targeted positive special treatment, and the positive and mutually reinforcing reciprocity of welfare and the economy. Mäkinen talks about the welfare economy.
The third strength is an active civil society. Welfare services are being strengthened by NGOs and other civil society, and civil society is providing a voice for the country’s quiet populations.
The crisis has brought a burden, but not evenly to everyone
According to Mäkinen, the coronary crisis affects the most vulnerable the most
- The crisis has brought a burden, but it has not brought it evenly to everyone, Mäkinen says.
The burden is influenced by several factors, including age, gender, socioeconomic status, and minority status. According to Mäkinen, for example, young women seem to have been hard hit.
The working group has also sought to identify the kind of gaps in well-being and equality that this crisis is revealing. According to Mäkinen, the fractures have not been created now, but their roots have already been in Finnish society.
Issues raised include the burden on mental health, increasing loneliness and the exacerbation of discriminatory attitudes.
Among other things, the working group proposes that a special Finnish model for assessing well-being and equality be created from the perspective of the welfare economy. In addition, the systematic, regular and up-to-date production of well-being information would be important.
Thirdly, the working group proposes that an independent Welfare Policy Evaluation Council be established in Finland to carry out the above-mentioned evaluation on a regular basis.
According to Mäkinen, Finland must act in such a way that the actions taken are fair and equal for everyone and that no one's burden becomes unreasonable.
"Korona causes huge losses to human well-being"
The working group was chaired by Mäkinen, who is also the current chairman of Soste's council. Mäkinen presented the report today at a press conference at the Government Palace.
Mäkinen's working group was set up by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. The event was also attended by Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen, Minister of Family and Basic Services Krista Kiuru, Minister of Labor Tuula Haatainen and Minister of Equality Thomas Blomqvist.
In addition to Mäkinen, other members of the working group included Kristiina Kumpula, Secretary General of the Finnish Red Cross, TuireSantamäki-Vuori, Director of the Welfare Department of the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), and Jukka Haapakoski, Executive Director of the Unemployed Central Organization.