Finnish municipalities and regions

Democracy and participation

A ballot

Local government in Finland is based on local self-government by the people. The Finnish Constitution safeguards the central features of local self-government:

  • Residents elect the supreme decision-making body, the municipal council.
  • The council has the general decision-making authority in local affairs. In addition, local authorities have certain specified responsibilities.
  • Local authorities have the power to make financial decisions, based on their right to levy taxes.

The Local Government Act governs how municipalities may organise their administration. The Act recognises the diversity of municipalities and secures the residents’ welfare in a democratic manner.