Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today (2 February) the Parliament will conduct a follow-up debate on the Government Report on Nordic Cross-Border Barriers. Cross-border barriers or obstacles are laws, official decrees or procedures that prevent the free movement of people or the ability of businesses to operate across national boundaries in the Nordic region. Thomas Blomqvist, Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality, who led the drafting of the report, is happy that in its statement the Foreign Affairs Committee emphasises the significance of drawing attention to these important efforts.
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.
“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 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.
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.