Finland reports to EU on health and social services reform, labour market reform and enhanced competition

Ministry of Finance 28.4.2017 11.22
Press release
Finland reports to EU on health and social services reform, labour market reform and enhanced competition

The Government has reported to the EU on Finland’s structural reforms. The reforms are in response to the EU Council’s country-specific recommendations relating to, for example, labour market reform and promoting competition.

Finland reports to EU on health and social services reform, labour market reform and enhanced competition

The Government has reported to the EU on Finland’s structural reforms. The reforms are in response to the EU Council’s country-specific recommendations relating to, for example, labour market reform and promoting competition.

Every year, the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) gives to all Member States recommendations aimed at guiding decision-making in national economic policy. The Member States report to the EU on the measures they have undertaken by submitting a Stability Programme and a National Reform Programme.

The Government approved Finland’s National Reform Programme on Thursday, 27 April. The Government reported on public finances in the Stability Programme, which was published on 28 April as part of the General Government Fiscal Plan.

Employment services strengthened, transport market opened up

Government states the following in its Europe 2020 Programme:

  • The preparation of the health and social services reform is proceeding according to plan.
  • Reducing public sector duties and obligations has proved to be more difficult than expected, but this work is still ongoing.
  • The Government has made efforts to strengthen Finland’s competitiveness through the Competitiveness Pact, amendments to labour legislation, and other measures. Some of these are still in progress.
  • The Government has also reformed the labour market by changing unemployment security and enhancing employment services. Employment of young people and integration of immigrants, in particular, have been promoted.
  • The Government has promoted competition by reducing retail sector regulation and opening up the transport market.

In May, the EU Commission will publish its proposal for country-specific recommendations for the next 12–18 months. At the same time, the Commission will assess compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact. Dialogue with the Commission is part of the European Semester of economic policy coordination.

Targets for employment and climate measures

The recommendations and the National Reform Programme relate to the Growth and Employment Strategy adopted by the EU in 2010. The strategy also sets EU-wide targets for employment, research and development expenditure, climate measures, education and reducing poverty.

Every Member State sets its own corresponding national targets. The Government outlines in the Europe 2020 Programme the measures it has initiated to achieve these targets.

Stakeholder participation

The Government states in the National Reform Programme that the expertise of stakeholders is now extensively utilised in the preparation of significant reforms. This has been done, for example, in the preparation of the health, social services and regional government reform as well as the reform of retail sector regulation and the transport system. Increasing participation is in response to wishes to involve stakeholders at an early stage of preparations.


Finland’s National Reform Programme, Spring 2017

Europe 2020 Strategy (Commission website)
Recommendations given to Finland in full (EU website)
European Semester in economic policy coordination (Council website)

Inquiries:

Jenni Pääkkönen, Ministerial Advisor, tel. +358 2955 30804, jenni.paakkonen(at)vm.fi

Marketta Henriksson, tel. +358 2955 30441, marketta.henriksson(at)vm.fi