If you have been following the public debate surrounding these elections in Finland, you may have already identified the four main topics of discussion:
- Education and Employment are two significant themes affecting the outcome of the upcoming Finnish parliamentary elections. In recent years, Finland has experienced a sharp decline in learning outcomes, a growing shortage of personnel in child and eldercare, as well as increasing challenges in attracting and retaining foreign workers in the country.
- Health and Welfare have once again taken centre stage during the upcoming elections in Finland. The years-long process of renewing the national healthcare system was finally completed during the last government term. However, significant questions remain about how the new well-being services counties will be financed, which will likely occupy a considerable portion of the incoming government’s time.
- Climate Crisis. Political parties continue to have vastly different perspectives on how to address the twin challenges of a warming planet and the loss of biodiversity. Forestry and forests have taken centre stage in election panel discussions due to last year’s concerning reports on the drastic decline in the carbon sinks of Finnish forests.
- Debt and Taxation – the ever-present topic! The ongoing debate over how to reduce the national debt, whether to raise or lower taxes and for whom, continues to be a major point of contention among the various political parties in Finland.
- Safety and Security is one of the key topics of discussion during the upcoming Finnish elections, as it remains at the forefront of people’s minds due to Russia’s unlawful attack on Ukraine, which led Finland to join the NATO military alliance. All political parties agree on continuing to provide aid to Ukraine.
From a Helsinki Smart Region perspective, it is notable that there is a lack of discussion surrounding how to boost the economy by investing in Research, Development, and Innovation. RDI is the lifeblood of the Helsinki-Uusimaa Region, and only by securing enough RDI funding from the future government’s budget can we ensure that the Helsinki-Uusimaa region will continue to strengthen and grow the Finnish economy while transitioning towards green and digital solutions.
The Finnish parliamentary elections are held every four years, with the next parliamentary election on April 2, 2023. Any Finnish citizen who is 18 years or older by the day of the election is eligible to vote in parliamentary elections.