Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini says Finland’s ranking atop the newly published Good Country Index will do good for the atmosphere in the country. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)


FINLAND contributes more to the common good of humanity relative to its size than any other country on Earth, according to the 2019 Good Country Index.

The index was published in conjunction with the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Wednesday, 23 January, measuring for the fourth time what each country contributes to and takes away from the common good relative to its size.

“This is a fine recognition. Finland is a good, stable country that is trusted in global arenas. It is the result of consistent efforts and I witness it almost daily in my work,” commented Timo Soini (BR), the Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs.

“This recognition will do good for the internal debate and atmosphere in Finland. Let’s be proud for a moment and then strive for even better.”

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Behind Finland, Ireland ranked second and Sweden third, while Germany and Denmark rounded out the top five of the 2019 Good Country Index.

The index is compiled by assessing the performance of countries across 35 indicators founded on data produced by multinational organisations such as the United Nations. The data is used to give each country a balance sheet that provides a cursory view of whether the country is a net creditor, a burden on the planet or something in between.

Finland moved from fourth to first place on the index particularly due to its positive contributions in the area of cyber security, journal exports, open trading, press freedom, freedom of movement, outflow of foreign direct investment and compliance with environmental treaties.

Its total score was knocked down by its relatively high volume of arms and hazardous pesticides exports, high number of attributed casualties of international organised crime, low number of refugees hosted, and low number of foreign students studying in the country.

The Good Country Index is unusual in that it focuses not on what countries do at home but on the contributions they make outside their borders.

“We’re not making moral judgements about countries. What we mean by a good country is something much simpler: it’s a country that contributes to the greater good of humanity A country that serves the interests of its own people, but without harming – and preferably by advancing – the interests of people in other countries too,” its description reads.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT