“Our role was to turn business needs into concrete policy proposals”

Tellervo Provided the Finnish government with proposals to help save jobs Finland, Helsinki

Industry trade associations played a very important role during the COVID-19 outbreak. In Finland, this role was tackled head on by the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK). “Our role consisted of providing the public sector with proposals and assistance, such as emergency measures to save businesses and jobs,” says Tellervo Kylä-Harraka-Ruonala, member of EK and of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). “To ensure that we were always up to speed with what businesses were going through, we conducted on the ground surveys.” Examples of proposal submitted by EK include a roadmap for lifting restrictions, as well as a list of companies able to produce protective equipment in Finland. EK also prepared – together with its branch organisations – a set of good practices for its member companies. They explain the safe return to workplaces, safe provision of services, and safe transport practices.

“Luckily, our manufacturing chain allowed a quick response to the huge increase in hand sanitizer demand”

Marko Switched production from beverages to hand sanitizer Finland, Ilvesjoki

The high demands for medical equipment and supplies has led some businesses to change the way they work during COVID-19. For several weeks now, the family-owned company Pramia has switched its beverage production to hand sanitizer. The bottling plant, powered by windmills, has a capacity to produce 7,700 bottles per hour. This new introduction in their production is helping the high demand of sanitizers in the health care sector, food supply chain and pharmacies.

“Everybody has the right to access reliable and fact-based information about health”

Anni Dedicates her time to answering questions about COVID-19 on Instagram Finland, Helsinki

Anni is a doctor with a passion for sharing information on health and science on social media, in a way everyone can understand. She strongly believes that everybody has the right to access reliable and fact-based information. This is invaluable during health crises, where people are desperate for reassurance about their health fears. They take answers wherever they can find them, often leading to misunderstandings or misinformation. To avoid this, Anni has been very active in answering questions on her Instagram account @laakari.anni (Doctor Anni). Fighting misinformation is such a high priority that the Finnish government has even enlisted social media influencers to help them in spreading awareness about the situation.

Fighting disinformation is also a top priority of the EU. It has worked with the main social media platforms to promote legitimate content and to hide or take down misleading, illegal and harmful content. In addition, Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová is meeting Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and others to discuss what they've done so far and what else they can do to help. Finally, the EU has exposed over 110 disinformation narratives on the coronavirus and shared the facts at https://euvsdisinfo.eu.