Expert contents

The next municipal elections will be held on 18 April 2021. On that day, Finnish citizens aged 18 or over can choose who they want to represent them in municipal decision-making bodies. Municipal elections are essentially about local democracy. There we elect decision-makers, who are closest to us

The strategy of the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities ‘An impactful partner for local government’ outlines the Association’s priorities and goals. It sets out the key measures we intend to take to advance the interests and development of local authorities and to reinvent

Established in 1994, the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) participates in the EU’s legislative process by issuing opinions on affairs handled by the European Commission, Council and Parliament. The CoR brings the voice of local and regional authorities to EU decision-making. Its aim is to

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The key EU policy work priorities of the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities are set out in its EU policy guidelines. Approved by the Association’s board, the guidelines provide a strategic framework for lobbying efforts. The first EU policy guidelines were drawn up upon Finland’s

Social welfare and health care is the most extensive local government function and a central part of the Finnish system of welfare services. The right to social welfare and health services is a basic and fundamental right of the whole population. Local authorities are responsible for performing the

‘As a decision-maker, I have heard the words local service, customer orientation and the third sector countless times. They are words that are constantly used to justify different things. Less frequently, it is asked what they mean, and perhaps even less often, they can be justified in ways that

Municipalities are building their own future: they shape their operating environment through their actions and choices. Self-governing municipalities promote a sense of belonging, well-being and vitality in the community. Well-being is essentially linked to vitality. The well-being of municipal

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

Finnish local authorities spent EUR 42 billion in 2016 on arranging services and promoting the welfare of residents. Social and health care services account for almost a half of the total expenditure and education and culture almost one third. Local authorities finance their services with taxes

The Finnish Local Government Act requires that municipalities advance the well-being of their residents and promote sustainable development in their areas. Gender equality, non-discrimination and the observance of human rights are central to well-being and socially sustainable development. As the

Town twinning is the cornerstone and the oldest form of international activities of municipalities and regions. In the Nordic countries, town twinning started already in the late 1930s, making it one of the world’s oldest municipal cooperation arrangements. Up north, the idea behind twinning was

In Finland, municipal sports services work closely with other municipal departments and with other sectors, NGOs and associations across municipal boundaries. As a result, the country boasts an extensive network of local facilities for everyday physical activity, with municipal sports facilities at

Early childhood education and care Early childhood education and care (ECEC) means systematic and purposeful education, teaching and care of a child with special emphasis on pedagogics, as defined in the Act on early childhood education and care. In Finland, public ECEC is provided by local

Below you can find information on some of the Association’s projects and programmes. Courage to Experiment Programme May I help you? ARTTU2 Research Programme

The goals, benefits and impacts of the Courage to Experiment Programme — A culture of experimentation Programme’s goals: Facilitating the launch and implementation of municipally-led experiments and, Benchmarking between municipalities and other parties Drawing attention to experimenting in

First year Discovery phase: First workshop, methods used were service map, service diary and personas The aim of the first workshop was to increase understanding of a customer's needs, the situation and a customer’s service experience. Service map In the first workshop, information was gathered

The focus is on a case study carried out in the region of Kainuu between 2014 and 2016 by the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities and the Kainuu joint municipal authority for social welfare and health care. The project was launched after a structural reform of municipalities and

The multi-disciplinary InnoSI research project taking place in ten EU Member States identifies, evaluates and compares local and regional social investments and increases the decision-makers’ understanding of social investments and the opportunities they offer for modernizing the welfare society.