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Local government’s duties and activities

The Ministry of Finance steers in general the development of local government's activities and duties.

The municipalities organise services for their residents. Most of these services are defined by law as being duties of local government. Duties can be assigned to local government only by laying down provisions to this effect in the law.

Local government’s statutory duties cover the following:

  • education and day care services
  • cultural, youth and library services
  • urban planning and land use
  • water and energy supply
  • waste management
  • environmental services
  • health and social services (will be transferred to the counties as part of the regional government, health and social services reform)
  • fire and rescue services (will be transferred to the counties as part of the regional government, health and social services reform)

In addition to the statutory duties, the municipalities may assume other tasks of self-government themselves. These generally concern the economy, employment and housing.

In accordance with its cost reduction and structural policy programme, the Government is to reduce local government costs by EUR 1 billion by cutting statutory duties and the obligations that these carry. More about reducing local government functions and obligations.

Provisions on local government administration and finances are laid down in the Local Government Act.

Local government tasks and obligations 2015, supplementary report, Publications of the Ministry of Finance 30/2015.

Review of the tasks of local government, Report 2012, Publications of the Ministry of Finance 2/2013  PDF 2.2MB 

Survey of local self-government duties, Publications of the Ministry of Finance 40/2015

Contact information

Anne-Marie Välikangas, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 2955 30020

Suvi Savolainen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 2955 30122