Subscribe to the latest news from the Nordic Labour Journal by e-mail. The newsletter is issued 9 times a year. Subscription is free of charge.

You are here: Home i Articles i Editorials i Editorials 2020 i Even Santa Claus is hit by the Corona crisis

Even Santa Claus is hit by the Corona crisis

| By Björn Lindahl, Editor-in-chief

The Nordic model is not past its best-before date. On the contrary, it is needed and it has shown its strength during the Corona pandemic. But it faces new challenges, which call for innovative welfare system finance solutions when new forms of employment and new technology disrupt entire sectors.

On 26 November, Denmark’s Minister of Employment opened the final Nordic Future of Work conference. 

The many tripartite agreements that were rapidly reached in Denmark were one of many examples of why the Nordic model is still very relevant, he pointed out. But you cannot spend too long in a room with social researchers before they start to highlight the differences between the Nordic countries.

At its core, the Nordic model is more a system for facing challenges than relying on solutions set in stone. So the model needs to be examined and adjusted, and in some cases, it needs to go through more thorough changes over time.

The Nordic Future of Work is the largest labour market research ever project financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers. 

30 researchers from a range of Nordic research institutes and universities have studied and analysed developments in different areas. The project has been coordinated by Jon Erik Dølvik and Kristin Alsos from the Norwegian Fafo research foundation.

The Nordic Labour Journal has followed the research project from the start, and has reported from previous conferences in Stockholm and Reykjavik. We have also been responsible for the official documentation of these two conferences. The research was also the Nordics’ contribution to the ILO’s centenary celebrations last year. Four of the Nordic countries joined the organisation the year after its foundation, and a new book looks at Sweden’s 100 years’ relationship with the ILO.

Its Secretary-General Guy Ryder also participated in a webinar on the book, where he presented worrying numbers for jobs lost globally as a result of the Corona pandemic – 495 million.

The Nordic region has also been hit. Not even Santa Claus has been spared, as Bengt Östling’s and photographer Cata Portin’s report from Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland shows. Last year half a million people visited the village, where businesses had a shared turnover of 42 million euro. This year’s turnover will be a fraction of that.

Rovaniemi’s tourism industry actually began with a visit from Eleanor Roosevelt, the widowed former first lady and UN ambassador, in 1950. Finland could not accept Marshall aid after the war but could get humanitarian help for war-ravaged Lapland. Roosevelt wanted to see how that aid was being used, but perhaps her actual visit was what in the end had the greatest effect? 

In these challenging times, let us not forget that there are those who have it worse!

We wish all of our readers a Very Happy Christmas and look forward to what will hopefully be a brighter 2021!

Documentation of the two previous conferences

on the Future of Work:


Receive Nordic Labour Journal's newsletter nine times a year. It's free.

This is themeComment