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EU minimum wage directive: last stand for the Nordics?

EU minimum wage directive: last stand for the Nordics?

(Dec 28, 2020) 2021 looks set to be the year when the issue of statutory minimum wages in Europe will be settled. The debate has lasted a long time and opinions are divided, but on 28 October 2020, the EU Commission finally presented a proposed directive which will be processed by the European Council and the EU Parliament.

Rovaniemi’s Santa is on his own a lot this year

Rovaniemi’s Santa is on his own a lot this year

(Dec 10, 2020) Christmas music plays on speakers everywhere. The sun sets around 1.30 pm. Santa Claus Village in Finnish Lapland is like a wintery Las Vegas, but far less busy.

Elves, dogs and reindeer suffer as tourists disappear from Arctic Circle

Elves, dogs and reindeer suffer as tourists disappear from Arctic Circle

(Dec 10, 2020) There seems to be more visitors to the post office than anywhere else in Rovaniemi’s Santa Claus Village – despite the risk of infection. Auli Sihvo has worked there for 20 years and seen how Santa has improved Lapland's commercial pulling-power.

War destitution created Lapland's tourism boom. It began here.

War destitution created Lapland's tourism boom. It began here.

(Dec 10, 2020) The tourism industry in Finnish Lapland has a lot to thank Eleanor Roosevelt for. The presidential widow’s visit to Rovaniemi and the Arctic Circle set in motion an international Lapland industry. This year is the 70th anniversary of her visit.

Covid threat to Nordic “julebord” tradition and restaurant survival

Covid threat to Nordic “julebord” tradition and restaurant survival

(Dec 10, 2020) Julebord is a Christmas office party on steroids and a major tradition in Norway and Denmark. This season is already a crisis for restaurants and food providers say enterprise confederations. But at least there will probably be fewer #metoo situations.

Sweden’s century-long relationship with the ILO

Sweden’s century-long relationship with the ILO

(Dec 10, 2020) Sweden has had a relationship with the ILO for 100 years. Yet the country never ratified the labour organisation’s first convention. There have been tensions behind the scenes from time to time – like when the conventions have clashed with the Swedish model for collective agreements.

A “Nordic”, independent Scotland post-Brexit?

A “Nordic”, independent Scotland post-Brexit?

(Dec 10, 2020) The last time the Scots went to the polls to vote for or against independence from the United Kingdom, there was speculation whether an independent Scotland would seek to link up with the Nordic region. Next year things might get serious.

East meets Nordics in EU road transport show-down

(Dec 10, 2020) The Nordic countries are celebrating that the EU has finally approved rules aimed at fighting social dumping in the international road transport sector. Meanwhile, a number of low-pay countries in the east have asked the EU Court of Justice to annul them.

Internship crucial for learning language and culture

Internship crucial for learning language and culture

(Nov 11, 2020) Rafet Adem Daban (24) arrived in Norway a couple of years ago after fleeing Turkey. He believes an introduction programme has been of great help and is very happy to have had the chance to get an internship in a newspaper.

Migration to the OECD nearly halved during Corona pandemic

(Nov 11, 2020) As a result of the Corona pandemic, the number of migrants being granted visas and residence permits for an OECD country has fallen dramatically. During the first six months of 2020, the number fell by 46% compared to the same period last year, according to the OECD’s International Migration Outlook 2020.

Norway falling on integration index – or is it?

Norway falling on integration index – or is it?

(Nov 11, 2020) Over the past five years, Norway has lost its position among the top ten countries with the most inclusive and generous migration policy, according to MIPEX 2020. But what does that really mean?

Swedish employment law – a drama with many acts

Swedish employment law – a drama with many acts

(Nov 11, 2020) The rules covering the labour market still create heated debate in Swedish politics. Time and again, this issue has challenged the government’s survival. It also highlights disagreements between the governing Social Democrats and the Swedish Trade Union Confederation LO.

Danish drive against sexual harassment at work

Danish drive against sexual harassment at work

(Nov 11, 2020) Sexual harassment in the workplace must end, say the government and the social partners. Clearer rules for psychological work environments came into force on 1 November 2020.

Iceland starting to miss "overtourism"

Iceland starting to miss "overtourism"

(Nov 11, 2020) Few countries have seen a more rapid tourism growth than Iceland. For many years, the number of tourists rose by 20 to 25% every year. This led to a debate over whether Iceland was a victim of “overtourism” like Barcelona and Venice.

Vaasa wants to attract more people by making them the world’s happiest

Vaasa wants to attract more people by making them the world’s happiest

(Nov 11, 2020) The Finnish city of Vaasa was at the very start of a campaign to make it the happiest city on Earth. Then corona hit. Now it remains to be seen whether the city and its inhabitants can create greater happiness in the depths of a crisis and a pandemic.

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