Africa’s population is predicted to double in size by 2050. In Finland, we have the opposite problem - our birth rate is in steady decline. The number of births this year is the lowest is has been in a hundred years. As the population continues to age, the questions we must ask are whether we will have enough qualified people to look after children, the elderly and the sick in the future? And what should be done about this?

Read more ...

Finland needs more employment-based immigration

Statistics Finland published a new population projection for Finland last November. According to the projection, Finland’s birth rate is continuing to fall and has reached its lowest level in 148 years. If the birth rate remains at the current level, there would be only 760,000 inhabitants aged under 15 in Finland by 2030.

NET IMMIGRATION would sustain population growth until 2035. However, after the year 2035, the population would go into a steep decline and by the 2050s, Finland’s population would already be below the current number. This declining trend in population growth means big challenges for Finnish society and its future.

Read more ...

“Who do I call if I want to call Europe?”, the former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is famously claimed to have asked. The European Union has not had a strong identity in foreign or security policy but in a matter of just two years, the situation has evolved rapidly.

A LITTLE OVER A YEAR AGO, 23 EU member states signed a joint notification on the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) as a part of the EU’s security and defence policy.

PESCO was introduced already by the Lisbon Treaty, which was signed 11 years ago. It took until last year for the EU to take this crucial organizational step. The world looks very different now than it did during the time the Lisbon Treaty was signed.

Read more ...



While there is a lot of talk about immigration to Finland, one rarely hears about Finnish emigration.

OVER DECADES, hundreds of thousands of Finns have moved abroad in search of a better life, job, love or some other reason. Similar reasons that bring people to Finland.

I have been interested in Finnish emigrants, especially those who went to Sweden and North America, for a long time.

Last spring in New York I visited old Finnish neighbourhoods, housing cooperatives and "haalis" (halls) built by Finns in Harlem, the South Bronx and Sunset Park.

The exact number of expatriate Finns is hard to estimate for lack of a clear definition of just what constitutes an expat. Some estimates based on looser definitions put their number at around two million. 

Read more ...

“Great you are from Finland, we just needed someone to talk about education.”

I was recently in London taking part in a refugee conference. Once again these were the welcoming words.

 WHEREVER I GO, I find myself answering questions concerning Finnish policies on education. The global interest for Finnish education remains, regardless of the problems and issues we have currently in our domestic education policies. Other countries expect that in Finland educational matters are always considered with great care and on research-basis.

 Therefore, I think we should currently focus on education both globally and locally.

Read more ...

“Great you are from Finland, we just needed someone to talk about education.”

I was recently in London taking part in a refugee conference. Once again these were the welcoming words.

 WHEREVER I GO, I find myself answering questions concerning Finnish policies on education. The global interest for Finnish education remains, regardless of the problems and issues we have currently in our domestic education policies. Other countries expect that in Finland educational matters are always considered with great care and on research-basis.

 Therefore, I think we should currently focus on education both globally and locally.

Read more ...

 

We are getting closer to the Parliamentary Elections, and it is a good time to consider which economic priorities we need to make. The discussion needs to be about which priorities we need to make in each sector of society, especially within the education sector. Cuts in combination with a constantly changing world and a labour market where knowledge gets old like we never seen before, it is important to prioritise.

Read more ...

CLIMATE CHANGE is impossible to ignore. It is an issue that is already happening at an increasingly worrying rate which leads to a multitude of problems; the majority of all humanitarian conflicts are caused by or affiliated with climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report underlining a clear message: the mere act of limiting global warming to 1.5°C needs extreme action from all humankind. The thousands of demonstrators who assembled at the Senate Square cannot be wrong. A transition towards a non-emission system is necessary not just for ecological, but also for economic reasons.

Read more ...

 

THE WORLD AFFAIRS are currently characterized by rising political tensions, return of geopolitics and nationalistic ideas. Your own country and your own people first. In the world of interdependence, the world is drifting apart. It is vital to recognize that the challenges of the international community are common: climate change, terrorism or diseases don´t follow national borders. Common challenges demand common solutions. 

Especially for small nations, like Finland, it is of utmost importance to rely on common rules, international agreements and law. Multilateralism controls the power of the mighty and gives a voice to smaller states in the world community. Global development should not be dictated by few but by all. 

Read more ...

In climate politics, there is the time before the IPCC report, published in October, and the time after it. Just as the Paris agreement raised the general awareness level and made just about every country commit to a common goal – at the moment, only the US is outside the agreement – the IPCC report made it clear to everybody what it means if we fail in our common mission. The difference between a temperature rise of 1.5 and 2 degrees is immense. Not to mention what happens if the temperature rises 3 degrees – and this is the path we are on right now.

Read more ...

I have sometimes characterised myself as a melancholic euro-federalist. By this, I mean to say, that even though I am for the notion of a united Europe, I am not particularly impressed by its practical implementation. 

To me, Finland’s EU membership has been - above all - a practical solution, dictated by the fact that it has been for the good of our country. During the Cold War, our political mobility was strictly within certain boundaries. By integrating ourselves into the West through EU membership, our national sovereignty has actually strengthened compared to President Kekkonen’s era, even though the EU critics like to claim otherwise. 

Read more ...

More Articles ...

Finland in the world press

Partners