Local authorities arrange statutory basic public services for their residents. As a rule, these services are financed from municipal tax revenue, central government transfers to local government and service fees and charges.
Key basic public services are:
- education and culture, such as early childhood education and care, primary and lower secondary education, secondary education, library services and youth work
- technical services, such as building supervision, environmental protection, the construction of roads and other infrastructure, water services and waste management.
- Local authorities also make decisions on local industrial and business policy, land use, construction and urban planning, and largely on housing policy as well — in other words, on matters that are important to the smooth running of our daily lives.
Be part of the effort to build future municipalities — become a candidate in the municipal elections.
The activities of municipalities are guided by political decisions.
The highest decision-making body in a municipality is the council, whose members are elected by the municipality’s residents for a four-year term in municipal elections. The council is responsible for the municipality’s finances and activities and elects the chief executive.
The municipal council elects the members of the local executive, which prepares and executes council decisions. The municipal council also chooses the members of local authority committees, which manage the provision of public services in the municipality.
Provisions regarding local self-government are laid down in the Constitution and those regarding decision-making in the Local Government Act.
Who can become a candidate in the elections?
Anyone who wants to become a candidate must meet the requirements for general eligibility for election laid down in the Local Government Act. They must be at least 18 years old and their municipality of residence must be the municipality where they stand for election. Further, candidates must not be in any such employment relationships as referred to in the Act when the municipal councillors’ term begins. For example, a local government official who is in a senior position cannot stand for election to the council of the municipality by which she or he is employed.
Persons eligible to stand as a candidate in municipal elections are those:
- whose municipality of residence is the municipality in question;
- who have the right to vote in municipal elections in one of the municipalities; and
- who have not been declared legally incompetent, i.e. who are not under guardianship.
Finnish citizens and, under certain conditions, foreign nationals resident in a municipality have the right to vote and stand as candidates in municipal elections.