Finland: towards more proactive policies

Juho Saari and Olli Kangas

in The Europeanisation of social protection

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9781847420206
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303794 | DOI:
Finland: towards more proactive policies

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A number of contradictory elements mark the Finnish attitude to the EU and to Europeanisation. Every political party has its own opinions of the EU, and the political colour of the cabinet has an impact on the government's official strategies on the issue. In addition to these political factors, a few institutional factors affect Finnish attitudes to the EU. This chapter discusses the stand of Finland on the EU-related initiatives. Finnish responses to the European social dimensions have fluctuated. Finland is not willing to define some policy areas or issues as belonging to the realm of national decision making or competence, neither is it prepared to sacrifice central institutional elements of its own social policy model. This dual emphasis is visible in the discussions of the roles of economic and social issues. Despite the strong emphasis on opening up internal markets and prioritising economic growth, Finland does not openly accept this at the expense of social protection, labour protection, health, and the environment. The dual approach, as contradictory it may seem, tries to balance the two major objectives, and accurately describes Finnish attitudes and responses to European integration.

Keywords: Finnish attitudes; EU; Europeanisation; Finland; European social dimensions; national social policy; Finnish social policy; European integration

Chapter.  8119 words. 

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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