The vitality of the Nordic welfare model in focus at the Nordic Welfare Forum 2023
12 jan 2023
The Nordic welfare model and the challenges it is facing will be evaluated and discussed at the Nordic Welfare Forum 2023. The event takes place in Reykjavik on 2 June.
A vital welfare model is functioning and stable but has the ability to adapt to new challenges. It is an effective safety net against poverty and vulnerability.
During the pandemic, the Nordic welfare model was put under severe strain. It might be too early to draw conclusions, but the Nordic countries seem to have emerged in a fairly good way. Eva Franzén, director at the Nordic Welfare Centre, says that knowledge from the pandemic is important when welfare in the future is discussed.
– The Nordic countries made it through the pandemic relatively well and have similar experiences from previous economic crises. In an international perspective, the Nordic model seems to be successful even when put under severe pressure, says Eva Franzén.
Through temporary changes in the social security systems, the countries managed to counteract many of the immediate negative consequences. Most people were spared from economic difficulties. The pandemic did however expose problem areas and vulnerabilities, particularly in some parts of the public sector. An example is the elderly care in Sweden.
War and climate change as welfare threats
There are several big challenges to the welfare sector, each with long-term consequences. A war has started geographically close to the Nordic region. The threat to the climate and environment raises demands for bigger changes in society than we are used to.
The number of refugees increases because of war and climate change, and this phenomenon can undermine the public support for general welfare. There are strong opinions for limiting welfare to the nation’s own citizens.
The aging population also poses new challenges to the welfare politics.
Broad discussions in Reykjavik
At the Nordic Welfare Forum 2023 in Reykjavik, Iceland, the Nordic welfare model and its vitality will be discussed from different points of view.
– We will get the opportunity to share new knowledge about which direction we are heading, about available path choices and measures to maintain a welfare model as we know it, says Eva Franzén.
Nordic Welfare Centre arranges the Welfare Forum on behalf of the Nordic Council of Ministers. One reason the Nordic Welfare Forum is held every two years is to monitor developments and challenges relating to welfare in the Nordic countries. The event welcomes politicians, researchers, employees in the welfare sector and representatives for the civil society in the Nordic region.