While the Finnish economy continued to decline with weak domestic demand, fragile exports and increasing unemployment rate, “Finnish creativity has shown its strength,” said Katainen.
“New beginnings of success, for example growth in the games industry, small companies generating significant new employment, and major foreign investments in data canters are arising to replace jobs that are lost.”
Facing the challenges of a more difficult economic situation and continuously aging population, Katainen pointed out Finland must therefore have the courage to reform the society “on our own terms.”
“We will not manage this if we hang on to out-dated structures or drift involuntarily on the currents of the global economy,” he stressed.
Concerning the approach of the reforms, the prime minister proposed a “bottom to top” concept, contrary to the traditional “top to bottom” way of governance in Finland.
“Finns are increasingly embracing individual solutions and freedom of choice. We no longer consider it right that someone above us makes key life choices on our behalf. Instead of patronage, we want to be the decision-makers of our own lives when we have the capacity to be so,” said Katainen.
“No single common dream of a nation exists; there are as many dreams as there are people.” He emphasized that decision-makers must adapt to it and search for paths by which people’s individual wishes, needs and actions can also be channeled for “the good of all of Finland.”