Why on Earth are they so happy?

I remember the day almost as if it was today. I was standing in the hallway at the university where I studied journalism and I saw the FCP 2003 leaflet on the notice board. I knew immediately that I wanted to apply. Back then, Finland was quite an unknown territory for me – I knew Moomin stories and Nokia mobile phones but not much else. Instead, I found a very organised and well functioning country where people knew quite a lot about Czech history, Czech cars were running in the streets and even few restaurants held Czech names such as “Vltava”. I felt slightly ashamed that this would not work the same way if you asked the Czechs about Finland.

Veronika in Moomin cafe during her last visit to Finland in June 2018

I was already working for the Czech Radio during my studies so when I returned I made several travel broadcasts about Finland. Since then, many things have changed. I am not a student any more. After I finished my studies I became a staff reporter in the national desk of the Czech Radio and quite shortly afterwards I was assigned to do the political reporting. This brought me to the Czech Parliament where I covered parliamentary sessions of both chambers (Chamber of Deputies and the Senate), all elections (local, parliamentary, presidential, EU) and any inner party talks and negotiations before important votings.

During this time I returned to Finland from time to time to see what is new in the country. In this respect, the biggest assignment came from the radio in 2009. Before the European Parliament elections the radio prepared a series of broadcasts about each EU country. I was asked to do the piece about Finland – I was supposed to record 6 reportages both travel and political to show what the topics before the upcoming elections are in the country. I learned a lot back then, that the main pre-election topics vary a lot in each EU country and mostly focus on their national problems rather than the EU level of politics. In 2009 Finns were fighting against the pensions reform (I was thrilled to find out that they were doing it mostly on the internet), while the Czechs were fighting against the visit fees in the health care system.

Veronika with her colleagues at the European Parliament in November 2018

In autumn 2017 I changed my job and started to work as an editor in the Czech Television. From this professional position, I take part in the decision making process of 24/7 all-news broadcasting. As I have written above, many things have changed and I think many things have changed in Finland too. Nokia company is no longer a leader in the mobile phone industry just to mention some of them. Therefore, this time I would like to explore the changes in Finnish society and politics compared to the past decade. I would like to know why the populist movements are on the rise in Finland as it happens in the rest of Europe. What is the current industry leader in the country. And last but not least, why the Finns are ranked the happiest people in international charts. 

Veronika- Czech Republic

Author: Veronika- Czech Republic

Veronika is currently working as the Deputy head of the desk for Czech Television’s Planning and Analysis Desk. Before that she has worked as a reporter for the Czech Radio for over ten years. In the radio she worked as a parliamentary correspondent, for example. After she participated to FCP in 2003, she reported for Czech Radio about Finnish political situation before the 2009 EU Elections. Now she would like to broaden and update her knowledge to create more accurate and profound coverage from Finland.

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