Gold fountain pen

Nordic challenges and Nordic cooperation - NFS in 2021

The Nordic countries will face similar social, ecological, and financial challenges after the Corona-crisis. We are at a breaking point where we have an excellent opportunity to deepen the Nordic cooperation, work together and support each other in the reconstruction and development of the welfare states of the future.

NFS president 2021 Antti Palola from STTK Finland

The global Covid-19 pandemic has forced the Nordic countries to turn to emergency legislation in economic affairs and employment policy and limit migration. These restrictions in freedom of movement also put pressure on the Nordic cooperation. Despite these challenges the safety nets in the Nordic welfare states have shown to be resilient and carry through the crisis. Our strong traditions of social dialogue, cooperation and collective agreements have made it possible for us in the labour market to find flexible solutions and react to the effects of the crisis in a quick and efficient manner in a way that is perceived socially just. This strengthens the confidence in the Nordic models.

Finland took over the presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers and will lead the Nordic intergovernmental cooperation during the year. In our Nordic trade union cooperation. I have been entrusted to lead the NFS in its work during 2021, something I look forward to. Covid-19 will be a main topic of our cooperation this year. We will need to put special focus on the effects the crisis has on young peoples’ entry on the labour market. STTK has, as the president organisation, also chosen to raise the always current issue of equal pay. The Nordic countries are leaders in gender equality issues, but we have a long way to go when it comes to differences in pay between women and men. Furthermore, Finland is lagging behind the other Nordic countries when it comes to equal pay, so we have a good opportunity to learn from our Nordic neighbours.

NFS will also focus on cooperation on the long-term trends of climate change, digitalisation and Just Transition during the year. The meaning of Nordic cooperation for the recovery from the Corona-crisis is more important than ever if we want to reach the prime ministers’ vision of the Nordic Region to become the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030.

Antti Palola, NFS president 2021, STTK Finland