Coronavirus Sitra’s note: In the spring, the Swedish authorities appealed that Finland would not take harsh coronavirus measures

According to a memorandum on Finnish coronavirus decisions, the responsiveness of decision-makers needs to be improved

Parliamentary subordinate incubator Sitra According to a recent memorandum, the Swedish authorities hoped in the spring that Finland would keep society as normal as possible in its action against the coronavirus, as Sweden had long thought.

Journalist and non-fiction writer Matti Mörttinen makes a note saysthat, for example, there was close contact between Finland and Sweden in the spring.

“According to Finnish sources, the Swedes appealed on Friday 13 March. for Finns not to close schools, at least. ”

In the memo it is said that at the beginning of March, the measures concerning the coronavirus in Finland and Sweden were quite similar.

In mid-March, the trend changed when politicians in Finland took control of the situation, unlike in Sweden, where the responsibility for viral decisions remained with the authorities.

“Finnish decision-makers were contacted several times from Sweden, even during exceptional circumstances, and the content of the messages was practically always the wish that Finland would keep society’s conditions as normal as possible. The Uusimaa closure project was one of the concerns of the Swedes, ”the memorandum says.

In the memo no mention of source names.

According to a HS government source, there was such a discussion between the Finnish and Swedish authorities during Finland’s first corona measures in March.

Mörttinen tells HS that his sources talked about Sweden’s wishes in only two situations, ie when Finland took the first restrictive measures and when the borders of Uusimaa were closed.

“I don’t know how extensively the Swedes have spoken like this since then. Maybe they stopped when they found the speeches had no effect, ”he says.

Mortic according to the memorandum, the corona pandemic has revealed that the responsiveness of decision-makers, the quality of law-making and cooperation between different branches of government should be improved to meet the challenges of future crises.

According to the memorandum, the Finnish decision-making and governance system has worked quite well in the interest rate crisis.

Mortarous notes that Finland had plans for a pandemic, but the crisis was triggered with a delay. The book shows that there was also mistrust between the parties.

“Finland was at the forefront in European terms in that several EU countries did not even have actual official contingency plans. Even Finland’s actions were still marked by improvisation, ”Mörttinen writes.

Mörttinen’s interviewees described the situations with their cutting-edge expressions “there were no specs” or “we had to compose that work all the time” and “we were on a completely unknown playing field”.

Mörttinen also highlights the fact that the “young prime minister” of the Finnish government had not taken a national defense course.

Mortic the key object of critical consideration is the establishment of exceptional conditions and the closure of Uusimaa. According to the book, there were, at least briefly, discussions on options other than isolating one province from another; for example, a curfew or a total mask ban on Uusimaa.

According to the author, the threshold for the use of the emergency law, which lacks the fundamental rights of citizens, may be lowered because it produced good results in the treatment of the coronavirus and most citizens were able to live relatively normal lives.

“If it leads to the establishment of exceptional circumstances in appropriate political conditions also becoming a tactical tool to facilitate the achievement of some goals, the consequences of the decision for Finnish democracy and the rule of law may be unpredictable,” Mörttinen writes.

Mortarous also makes suggestions.

In his opinion, it would be worth considering amending the provisions of the Emergency Preparedness Act. In order to enact a contingency law that is currently lacking in fundamental rights, it is sufficient that a majority in the parliamentary vote is in favor of the law.

According to Mörttinen, it should be considered that the emergency law would require a qualified majority, ie, for example, three quarters of MPs should support the law.

His considers that contingency plans should be more binding and that different crisis exercises should also take into account the worst-case scenarios, rather than going through the so-called easiest way.

According to Mörttinen’s report, the prime minister was more than others in the preparation for the coronavirus crisis Sanna Marin (sd) and the Minister of Family and Basic Services Krista Kiuru (sd).

There was also a new forum for board decision-making, board negotiations.

According to Mörttinen, the operating model bound the government to decisions, but at its worst, its negotiations were heavy and inefficient.

Sitran According to the press release, Mörttinen has interviewed about 50 key players for the memorandum and found out how the progress of the global pandemic was reacted to in various decision-making bodies and how the cooperation between different actors went.

Mörttinen’s memorandum is part of Sitra’s Democracy Renewal project, which has clarified the state and development needs of Finnish democracy and supported its ability to innovate with various experiments.


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