Miro Del Gaudio Lex Gaudius Years ago, investments abroad had been made due to modern technologies, but time flies and now educated employees, cost-competitive wage level and desirable communication are much more impressive values. World-class technology, ecosystems and all aforementioned features are found in Finland.  You can make an investment in Finland in various industries from wind power to biotechnology.

According to EU research, Finland is the most invested country in Scandinavia. Here we can find Muji, Google, Rolls Royce Group and many other well-known corporations. Copenhagen Economics has found that one invested euro in Finland makes a profit of three indirect euros. The BusinessFinland conducted research and found that Finland is an ideal location for setting up research and development activities. In the BusinessFinland research, the key factor why investments in Finland are efficient is also political and economic stability. In response to coronavirus, economic development has been stronger than in many other countries. Finland’s Ministry of Finance expects economies growth recovers already next year and measures implemented to alleviate the effects of the coronavirus outbreak come to an end.  According to the World Investment Report 2020, the total stock of FDI in Finland amounts to 78 billion USD.  The icing of the cake is that Finland is one of the least corrupt countries in the world.

Lex Gaudius

There are many talks about the coronavirus vaccine. Today we would like to describe all the stages that new vaccines must go through.  

Vaccines are rigorously tested and proven safe before it could be launched into the market. In European Union, vaccines are controlled by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Before the vaccine could be launched, the substance has to undergo rigorous testing by its developer and the scientific evaluation by regulatory authorities. After those tests, the vaccine should be developed with laboratory testing and clinical testing. The whole process usually takes years, but in the case with COVID-19 the quick, rolling review cycle has been used to get the vaccine launched as soon as possible.

After the vaccine has been proved substantially acceptable, there comes clinical testing which is called vaccine trial. The zero phase is about the process when the little amount of the developed drug is inserted into 10 to 15 volunteers’ bodies to see what changes the drug provokes in the human. In the first stage, the right amount of the vaccine given to the person has to be found due to the testing on volunteers. The second phase includes several hundred volunteers that includes individuals from the risk group and persons with chronic diseases. The third phase is the last one and there are already thousands to tens of thousands of persons being tested. The rare side effects appear in this stage. 

At this moment, the Covid vaccine is developed in the USA, Germany and Russia. The German vaccine has been proved as more than 90 per cent effective in the aforementioned 3rd phase of the clinical trial, the USA’s looks to protect to 94,5% and Russian vaccine is suggested to be 92% effective. According to the WHO, more than 150 other Covid vaccines are in development. European Union has approved four contracts with pharmaceutical companies, which provide millions of the vaccine doses to EU member states, once the vaccine has been finally  proven effective against COVID-19.

Photo: unsplash.com 

Lex Gaudius

In October 2020 the Council of the European Union has adopted a recommendation to coordinate measures affecting free movement. It provides that at this moment there are no restrictions on travelling within the European Union. However, some conditions could be applied depending on the country you travel to.

 Safety of the chosen country is indicated by colours: green, orange and red. Do not forget to check the colour of your vacation destination. The map on the EU commission official website updates every week, so to be prepared for the actual situation, take a look on the map precisely before your trip. The map can be found here: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/covid-19/situation-updates/weekly-maps-coordinated-restriction-free-movement. You can travel without any restrictions on the green zones. At this moment, the only green zone is Greenland, and Finland is in the red zone. If you are coming from a red or orange zone, the receiving member state can introduce restrictions as undergoing quarantine or Covid-19 test after arrival. If your destination is outside the EU, the requirements to cross the border can differ and you have to check the actual situation on the ministry for foreign affairs website. 

To make your holiday stress-free zone, if you are from Finland, there is a possibility to fill the travel notification on the website https://matkustusilmoitus.fi/public_html?command=jump&t=ilm_matkustaja, so the ministry for foreign affairs can contact you in case there are going to be some unexpected circumstances that have an impact on your journey. It is recommended for everyone to acquire travel insurance if you are planning to travel. The insurance covers all treatment expenses abroad if you get sick and also the cancellation costs if you get the virus before embarking on your journey. The traveller’s insurance is always personal, but it covers a person’s children or grandchildren under the age of 20 he is travelling with. The coverage of the insurance differs depending on the company. In Finland, you can tender out the conditions of insurance contracts for example: If, Lähitapiola, Pohjola, OP and Popvakuutus.  

The world is changing and becoming even more globalized and technologized. The EU noticed the issue that current legislation does not respond to the arising legal challenges. It was a time for a change. Through the General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR) application on 25 May 2018 across the European Union, new legal requirements for the protection of personal data have been enforced for data controllers that are operating within the EU territory. Due to the GDPR changes, in certain cases, the data subject has the right to have the controller erase data concerning him or her without undue delay. This right is also known as the right to be forgotten (article 17 of the GDPR). This article protects natural persons while corporations are processing their personal data.

The controller is obligated to erase the personal data according to article without undue delay if:

• the personal data is no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which it was collected or otherwise processed
• the data subject withdraws the consent on which the processing was based and there is no other legal basis for the processing
• the data subject objects to the processing of his or her data for purposes of direct marketing or otherwise exercises the data subject’s right to object and there is no other justified reason for the processing
• the personal data has been processed unlawfully
• the personal data has to be erased for compliance with a legal obligation in Union or Member State law to which the controller is subject or
• the personal data has been collected in connection with offering information society services.
The right does not apply if the processing of the data is necessary:
• for exercising the right of freedom of expression and information
• for compliance with a legal obligation which requires processing by Union or Member State law to which the controller is subject or for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller
• for reasons of public interest in the area of public health
• for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes in so far as the right to erasure is likely to render impossible or seriously impair the achievement of the objectives of that processing or
• for the establishment, exercise or defense of legal claims.

There has been a descriptive case law Google Spain v. González. The case offers a piece of understanding of how the article right to be forgotten works in general. In the case, Mr González searched Google for his name, and Google search resulted in links to the newspaper articles from 1998 on which an announcement mentioning Mr González’s name appeared for a real-estate auction connected with attachment proceedings for the recovery of social security debts. Mr González requested, first, that newspaper is required either to remove or alter those pages so that the personal data relating to him no longer appeared or to use certain tools made available by search engines in order to protect the data. Second, he requested Google to remove or conceal the personal data relating to him so that they ceased to be included in the search results and no longer appeared in the links to the newspaper. Mr González stated that this information has been irrelevant for years. Google argued that the data was not incompatible with legislation and lawfully published.

The Spanish National High Court asked the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for advice on the application of the Data Protection Directive. According to the CJEU, the financial interest of the controller is not in itself, sufficient to justify further processing. As a general rule, the protection of privacy also overrides the public’s right to information. However, in individual cases, the nature and sensitivity of the information and the position of the data subject, for example, as a public figure, may affect this balance. In its decision, CJEU highlighted the importance of respecting the fundamental rights, in particular the right to privacy. After all, the operator of a search engine was obliged to remove from the list of results displayed following a search made on the basis of a person’s name links to web pages, published by third parties and containing information relating to that person.

This case demonstrates in a certain way the problematic relationship between the person’s right for privacy and newspaper’s right for freedom of expression and information as well as a public interest. Here, Mr González’s Google results had already come irrelevant, they bothered him and his privacy. Anyway, even though the information were not relevant anymore, it does not change the fact that this information would not be true. Based on this, the newspaper has the right for expression and follow the public interest. However, since the article right to be forgotten is existing there was no reason not to erase the data. Thus, the right for privacy was the priority.

Nowadays the privacy is a common subject of discussion and why it would not be, since the privacy issues are existing in the world full of smartphones, interactive speakers and fitness trackers, just to name a few. Privacy is discussed in controversy among philosophical, legal, social and scientific circles. Still, no universally accepted definition of privacy exists. There is even a discussion about the 4th generation of the “new” human rights. At the moment, traditional human rights concepts are also under pressure because technology is creating new capabilities for human rights violations. In today’s world there are stored personal information in many, many places, the right to be forgotten emphasizing the individual person’s right to privacy by offering the ability to control at least at some level what information is available about them on the internet, for instance. Rights to live with humanity and the current discussion is strongly going on. The effects are worth following.

We would like to share Evelyn’s story on the unreasonably complex procedure for gaining work-related residence permit in Finland. 

Evelyn moved to Finland from the Philippines in 2017. She concluded a permanent employment contract with a Finnish company providing cleaning services. Due to the Finnish immigration policy, she was not allowed to start working until the work-related residence permit was successfully granted. 

In order to work in Finland, a citizen outside of EU countries shall hold a residence permit for an employed person. Permission procedure is two-phased: First, TE Services estimate employment conditions, the employer’s ability to fulfil its legal obligations, and establishes whether there is labour force available within a reasonable time in Finland or EU/EEA in accordance with labour market testing. Secondly, Immigration Service decides on the residence permit based on the statement of TE Services. Immigration Service also evaluates the general conditions for granting residence permits in Finland. 

TE Services concluded a negative partial decision falsely claiming that the documents proving the accuracy of the employment terms were not submitted within the time limits. However, all documents were delivered on time, and the acquisition of the documents was confirmed in writing by the officer of TE Services. However, Immigration Service dismissed Evelyn’s application referring to the statement of TE Services. 

Evelyn decided to seek legal advice and turned to our Attorney-in-law Miro Del Gaudio. Immigration Service re-evaluated Evelyn’s application, but in the end dismissed it claiming that the nature of Evelyn’s employment contract deemed artificial, since Evelyn could not give encompassing answers to the questions presented to her in an oral hearing. Our Attorney Miro emphasized that the questions were very technical by nature. Matters concerning income tax rates, a specific number of annual holidays granted by law could not be reasonably expected to know in detail even by an employee originating from Finland. Finally, after a two-year-battle, Evelyn received an accepted residence permit for an employed person in September 2019. 

A procedure consisting of applications, decision-making in different instances and complaints following therefrom may take years. The delay from the first application to the final decision is unreasonably lengthy. Foreigner’s ability to start working is postponed by years which does not meet the needs and expectations of the employer. Thus, it is of high importance to shorten the application procedure of work-related residence permits, which is finally recognized by the current government of Finland. 

Source in Finnish: https://www.iltalehti.fi/