Women enjoy the same legal rights. Despite an equal pay law, women earn on average only about 84 per cent of what men earn, and women`s pensions are worth about 20 per cent less than men. In 2020, the government launched a new policy granting new parents seven months of parental leave, regardless of gender. Finland has been a member of the WTO and the EU since 1995. The WTO conducted its Trade Policy Review of the European Union (including Finland) in May 2017: www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tpr_e/tp457_e.htm. The Economic Survey 2018 of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) can be found here: www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/economic-survey-finland.htm. The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (ETLA) regularly publishes reports that examine various sectors and factors that may affect investment: www.etla.fi/en/publications/dp1267-en/. A company can apply for guarantees from the public funding company Finnvera: www.finnvera.fi/eng/start/applying-for-financing/when-setting-up-a-business?source=3165. Finnvera provides services to companies in most industries and is also Finland`s official export credit agency (ECA). Business Finland helps foreign investors to set up a company in Finland.
The services are free and range from data collection to matchmaking and location management: www.investinfinland.fi/our-services. Support for innovative companies is also available from the Foundation for Finnish Inventions: www.wipo.int/sme/en/best_practices/finland.htm. Travellers carrying more than €10,000 must make a declaration when entering or leaving the EU. As a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Finland complies with most of the FATF`s 49 standards. The FATF commended Finland for improving its anti-money laundering legal framework: www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/reports/mer/Finland_FUR_2013.pdf. Mortgages exist in Finland and can be applied to both owned and rented properties. Finland ranks 27th out of 190 countries for ease of home registration, according to the World Bank`s Doing Business 2018 report. In Finland, basic education, transfer, land consolidation, cadastre, registration of real estate, property and legal rights, property valuation and taxation are combined in a basic cadastral system (land register) administered by the National Land Survey: www.maanmittauslaitos.fi/en/real-property. Finland is divided into six regional administrative authorities responsible for basic public services and legal permits such as rescue services and environmental permits.  The 15 Centres for Economic Development, Transport and Environment (ELY Centres) are responsible for the implementation and regional development tasks of the central government.  Finland complies with most ILO conventions; The enforcement of workers` rights is effective. Freedom of association and collective bargaining are guaranteed by law, which provides for the right to form and join independent trade unions, to conduct lawful strikes and to bargain collectively.
The law prohibits anti-union discrimination and any interference with these rights. The National Conciliator of the Ministry of Employment and Economy assists negotiators in labour disputes. The arbitration system is based on the Mediation in Labour Disputes Act and the Labour Court is the supreme conciliation body. The ILO profile on Finland can be found here: www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:11110:0::NO:11110:P11110_COUNTRY_ID:102625. Finland ranks third in the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index (2017-2018) in terms of restrictions on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice. For more information, see: worldjusticeproject.org/our-work/wjp-rule-law-index/wjp-rule-law-index-2017%E2%80%932018. Finland ranks fifth in the World Bank`s global regulatory governance indicators: rulemaking.worldbank.org/data/explorecountries/finland. There are no cases of political violence in Finland. Some isolated anti-immigration incidents, including the death of a Finnish citizen in September 2016 after a clash with the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement, have sparked large anti-racist rallies. There were a few subsequent demonstrations calling for an end to deportations of asylum seekers and counter-demonstrations to these protests in central Helsinki, but these were rare and relatively small.
In August 2017, a stabbing attack took place in central Turku in southwestern Finland, killing two pedestrians and injuring eight. Finnish authorities considered the attack an act of terrorism and made it the first of its kind since the end of World War II. People in Finland can travel abroad and within the country. The country has one of the most comprehensive « roaming freedom » policies in the world, allowing people to use public or private land for recreational purposes, as long as the privacy of a private home is not violated and environmental damage is not caused. There are no undue restrictions on the ability of individuals to change their place of residence, education or employment. The protection of trade secrets is ensured mainly by criminal laws and procedures, but also by the Unfair Commercial Practices Act under the jurisdiction of the Market Court: www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/kaannokset/1978/en19781061.pdf. The government plans to submit a draft law to Parliament in spring 2018 to implement the EU Directive on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (2016/943). The 2015 Group Report of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) on the Finnish Legal Protection of Trade Secrets is available at: aippi.org/library/page/4/?publication_title=trade%20secrets&start_date_range&end_date_range. Parliament has been dominated by secular conservatives, the Centre Party (formerly the Agrarian Union) and the Social Democrats since the introduction of a common and equal electoral law in 1906. Yet none of them has a one-party majority, with the notable exception of the 1916 elections, when the Social Democrats won 103 of the 200 seats. After 1944, communists were a factor to be considered for several decades, and the Finnish People`s Democratic League, founded by communists and others to the left of the Social Democrats, was the largest party after the 1958 elections. Support for the communists declined sharply in the early 1980s, while later in the same decade environmentalists formed the Green League, which is now one of the largest parties.
The Swedish People`s Party represents Finland and Sweden, particularly in language policy. The relative strength of parties varies only slightly in elections due to proportional representation in multi-member constituencies, but there are some visible long-term trends.
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