Each year on 19 March, Finland celebrates Minna Canth Day and the Day of Equality in honour of the anniversary of the birth of Minna Canth, a vocal social opinion leader who shattered many glass ceilings in the late nineteenth century, as well as conducting a significant career as a writer and journalist. On this Day of Equality, Thomas Blomqvist, Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality reminds us of the importance of continuing to work actively for a more equal labour market.
The labour market is at a turning point and we cannot close our eyes to it. MP Anders Adlercreutz suggests that we need a combinatory form of insurance that covers both entrepreneurs and salaried employees.
Saturday 4 March was International HPV Awareness Day. HPA (human papillomavirus) can cause cervical and throat cancers, as well as serious genital warts. MP Veronica Rehn-Kivi (SFP), member of the Social Affairs and Health Committee and chair of the parliamentary vaccine task force, has lodged a written question demanding more effective measures to completely eradicate HPV from Finland.
Today (1 March 2023), the Finnish Parliament has approved the Government Proposal on Finland’s Accession to NATO. Thomas Blomqvist, Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality, is pleased that the Parliament gave this clear opinion on the matter and that Finland has now reached the conclusion of this phase of the accession process.
SFP wants Finland to be climate neutral by 2035. The Chair of the Swedish Parliamentary Group and of SFP’s Committee for Environmental Policy, Anders Adlercreutz, stresses the importance of implementing ambitious climate policy at the national, EU and international levels. Global warming must be limited to 1.5 degrees.
Today (24 February 2023) marks the one-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale attack on Ukraine. One year ago, Europe’s security environment was fundamentally shaken and we woke up to a new set of circumstances. For twelve months, Ukrainians have waged a brave battle for their country, their democracy and their freedom. Thomas Blomqvist, Finland’s Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality, emphasises the importance of a continued show of support for Ukraine.
The current cabinet had ambitious aims concerning equality, and according to the final report on the Government Action Plan for Gender Equality, published today, the majority of the action plan’s 55 targets have been met or are well under way. Most of the equality-related points of the government programme were included in the action plan, but some – such as the Family Leave Reform and the Equal Pay Programme – have been implemented outside of it. Thomas Blomqvist, Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality, presented the final report on the Action Plan for Gender Equality on Wednesday (22 February), during its handling in the cabinet.
The Helsinki Metropolitan Area plays an important role in Finland’s economic development. Brain drain is a genuine problem that we cannot ignore. More higher education places are needed in Uusimaa, says SFP MP Anders Adlercreutz.
SFP Vice President Henrik Wickström wants to see the next cabinet taking decisive action to improve access to mental health care. He believes there must be courage to review the entire service chain.
A government decision in principle on hydrogen was approved today. We want to make Finland a competitive and predictable investment environment for the hydrogen economy. The programme includes concrete actions, such as ensuring the smoothness of permit processes, including electric fuels in the distribution obligation, expanding infrastructure and channelling EU and national funding to various development projects.
SFP Vice President Henrik Wickström says that the next government must take action to improve businesses’ growth opportunities. Wickström is concerned that small and medium-sized enterprises in Finland lack the courage to develop their operations. Current circumstances, including high energy prices and inflation, have weakened companies’ future prospects.
Sexual harassment continues to be a major problem in society, contravening every individual’s right to privacy and safety. Farsighted efforts are needed to eliminate this problem, says Thomas Blomqvist, Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality. Today (8 February), minister Blomqvist took part in a round table discussion on preventing harassment and increasing equal treatment in the emergency services sector.
Rehn-Kivi: Problems with bureaucracy must not prevent the provision of rehabilitation to Ukrainian war veterans!
On Thursday, MP Veronica Rehn-Kivi (SFP) submitted a written question concerning the rehabilitation of wounded Ukrainian soldiers in Finland. Kauniala Hospital has been helping with rehabilitation but is now threatened by a lack of funding, as well as by bureaucracy.
SFP Vice President Henrik Wickström believes Finland needs more police officers. According to Wickström, the Finnish Police lack resources for preventive work. In its election manifesto, SFP states that the number of police officers should be raised from the current 7,500 to 8,200.
Blomqvist: Efforts to make the Nordic countries the world’s most sustainable and integrated region are highly topical
In August 2019, the Nordic prime ministers decided to adopt the vision of turning the Nordic countries into the world’s most sustainable and integrated region by 2030. An action plan, led by the ministers for Nordic cooperation, was implemented for fulfilling this vision. Thomas Blomqvist, Finland’s Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality, emphasises how topical this vision is and how important it is to continue systematically to work towards it.
Germany has today confirmed that it will send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. MP Anders Adlercreutz is pleased that Chancellor Olaf Scholz has finally given the green light to properly supporting Ukraine.
“Many pieces fell into place as a consequence of diverse political decisions, when the Norwegian company Blastr Green Steel announced a multi-billion-dollar investment into climate-smart steel production in Western Uusimaa,” says Thomas Blomqvist, Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality.
“The process that will in time lead to our NATO membership is a sign of the workability of our political system,” said Anders Adlercreutz, the Chair of the Swedish Parliamentary Group, last Tuesday in a debate on the approval of Finland’s NATO membership.
“One absurd case after another is reported in the news. Within SFP, we have long been concerned about the apparent arbitrariness with which residence permit applications are approved or rejected by the Finnish Immigration Service. It is unsustainable. A profound investigation of the Immigration Service and its processes must be carried out,” says Anders Adlercreutz, Chair of the Swedish Parliamentary Group.
Blomqvist on the Government report on Nordic cross-border barriers: Nordic everyday life must be borderless!
Today (10 November 2022), the Finnish Government approved its report on Nordic cross-border barriers. The report responds to the entry in the Government Programme stating that Finland wants to further facilitate the movement of citizens between the Nordic countries, work actively to remove existing cross-border barriers, and seek to ensure that new ones are not created. The minister in charge, Thomas Blomqvist, Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality, emphasises the importance of providing this report to the Parliament.
The Finnish Parliament voted to approve amendments to Finnish abortion legislation by a margin of 125 to 41. One of the outcomes of the reform will be that a pregnancy may be terminated up to the end of the 12th week of gestation by the pregnant woman’s request. It has previously been necessary to obtain statements from two separate physicians.
Concerns have arisen over Russian real estate holdings close to significant defence sites in Finland. Last week, the Government issued a proposal for tightening related legislation. The Chair of the Swedish Parliamentary Group, Anders Adlercreutz, points out that sites that are not directly linked to defence may also be strategically significant.
The Social Affairs and Health Committee published a report on the Patient Safety Act on 16 September. The committee supports the legislative proposal based around ensuring that sufficient care workers are available for intensive care and critical home care during the labour dispute, but suggests small amendments based on expert opinions.
Adlercreutz: Apprenticeship programmes, predictable taxation and fast lane for labour migration are needed
The current series of successive crises is putting the economy out of balance. The Covid pandemic, Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and the ongoing energy crisis are shaking the foundations of the economy. Anders Adlercreutz, Chair of the Swedish Parliamentary Group, is concerned over the how businesses in Finland will survive this critical period and is calling for reforms that will help secure the availability of labour.
The Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality, Thomas Blomqvist, emphasises the importance of securing freedom of movement across the Nordic Region in all situations. The minister is visiting Tornio-Haparanda August 29 together with his Swedish colleague, minister Anna Hallberg.
It is essential to invest in better working conditions, a more attractive work environment, quality leadership and improved opportunities for personnel to take part in and influence their work,” said Member of Parliament Veronica Rehn-Kivi at the Swedish Parliamentary Group’s summer meeting in Porvoo.