Finland strengthens economy of wellbeing approach by joining Wellbeing Economy Governments network
Finland will join the global Wellbeing Economy Governments (WEGo) network. The informal network currently comprises Scotland, Wales, Iceland and New Zealand. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has also participated in the operation of the WEGo network.
The network offers a global forum for discussing the economy of wellbeing and other wellbeing-related issues and sharing information and best practices for the purpose of supporting decision-making. It also promotes the implementation of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals.
The economy of wellbeing emphasises the balance between the three dimensions of sustainable development — social, economic and environmental sustainability. In the economy of wellbeing, public resources are allocated for improving people’s wellbeing. In the long run, the sustainability and stability of society will improve.
“Joining the network will give us new opportunities to promote the economy of wellbeing approach, for example in the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. This approach makes it possible to create a sustainable foundation for a just, equal, climate-friendly and competent society which is better equipped to respond to future crises and to overcome them more swiftly,” says Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen.
Theme of wellbeing economy is important to Finland
The economy of wellbeing was the main theme in the health and social sector during Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council adopted conclusions on the economy of wellbeing under Finland’s Presidency in October 2019. The Council conclusions create a basis for further work on the concept in the EU.
Since its EU Presidency, Finland has also promoted the economy of wellbeing approach in other international forums, such as the UN, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Nordic cooperation.
The economy of wellbeing is also included in the Government Programme. Under the Programme, the aim of economic policy is to increase wellbeing. The Government aims, among other things, to boost the economy of wellbeing by investing in measures that foster people’s health and wellbeing and reduce their need for services.
In Finland, the economy of wellbeing is promoted by the division for the economy of wellbeing of the Advisory Board on Primary Healthcare, for example.
The Finnish Government discussed the issue of joining the network at its evening session on 18 November. Following the discussion, Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen informed Scotland, one of the founding members of the network, by letter that Finland would join the network.