Identifying options for future local government policy

At the autumn 2020 government budget session it was decided to launch a review of the future of local government. The task was to draw up different options for future local government policy by the end of 2021 for political decision-making purposes. 

The aim of the work is a future local government policy in which the municipalities would still be well placed to organise services, promote the wellbeing of their residents and ensure a sustainable basis for local government finances. 

The proposals will be put together as packages of measures. They will take into account themes such as:

  • balance and sustainability in the financing base and duties of the municipalities
  • the role and self-governing status of the municipalities 
  • practices, cooperation and structure in local government, and 
  • different forms of central government oversight of local government.

Proposals to be prepared through extensive cooperation

A further aim of the work is to generate discussion on local government policy, openly exchange views, encourage dialogue on different perspectives and strengthen mutual understanding of the basis for developing local government policy. 

Seminar and workshop events will be organised, along with roundtable discussions, and discussions will also be held in existing networks. A working group and two sub-committees will consult experts from local and central government and from different disciplines, civil society, business and other stakeholders, as well as residents of municipalities.

The working group and sub-committees have the task of identifying options for future local government policy. 

Why is this work being done?

Finland’s municipalities differ significantly from each other in size, circumstances and demographic structure. The differences have widened since 2000, especially as a result of demographic changes. The ageing of the population, urbanisation and falling birth rates will continue to have a strong impact on the economic capacity of municipalities and their ability to organise statutory services for their residents both now and in the future.

Changes occurring in the operating environment and the widening differences between municipalities make it necessary to examine comprehensive long-term solutions affecting the future of municipalities that could allow them to secure the conditions for organising services and promoting the wellbeing of their residents on the basis of sustainable local government finances, in future years too.

Contact

Suvi Savolainen, Ministerial Adviser 
Ministry of Finance, Kunta- ja aluehallinto-osasto, Kuntapolitiikka-, toimintatavat- ja toimeenpanoyksikkö / KTT 0295530122  


Ville-Veikko Ahonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Financial Affairs 
Ministry of Finance, Kunta- ja aluehallinto-osasto, Kuntapolitiikka-, toimintatavat- ja toimeenpanoyksikkö / KTT 0295530066