In the Economy of Wellbeing, wellbeing produces results
Pirkko Mattila, Minister of Social Affairs and Health, opened the seminar on the Economy of Wellbeing held in Brussels on 19 October. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health organised the seminar in connection with the Norden2020 project. The seminar “In Quest for Sustainable Europe: The Economy of Wellbeing” laid the groundwork for Finland’s upcoming EU Presidency term. The seminar also featured a keynote speech by Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the European Commission.
According to Minister Mattila, it is time to engage in open discussion and reflect on the interaction between the economy and welfare policy.
“The Economy of Wellbeing takes into account aspects related to social wellbeing, gender, health, employment and education and emphasises their importance for economic growth and stability, as well as for improving trust in public policy and ensuring the legitimacy of policy-making. At the same time, we are evaluating how different policy measures impact people’s wellbeing. We call this policymaking approach the Economy of Wellbeing,” Minister Mattila said in her speech.
Public spending on wellbeing, namely social, health, education and employment expenditures, constitutes a major part of countries’ national budgets. With this in mind, Finland and many other countries are reflecting on how to ensure the wellbeing of their citizens both now and in the future.
“In the search for fiscal consolidation in the short term, cutting expenditures is often the most common course of action.” When making reforms to social protection, health care and education systems, arrangements for wellbeing are generally viewed as costs, especially during economically difficult times,” Minister Mattila commented.
According to Minister Mattila, investment in human capital and wellbeing leads to clear results. As examples, Minister Mattila highlighted investments in health, including mental health, education, occupational health and safety as well as gender equality, which are relevant from both macroeconomic and corporate perspectives.
Veli-Mikko Niemi, Director-General, tel. +358 46 921 0285
Kari Synberg, Special Adviser to the Minister of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 50 574 2297