Residents can influence the counties activities

Residents and service users have the right to participate in and influence the activities of their wellbeing services county. The wellbeing services counties use a wide range of participation methods depending on what the aim is.

The most important way to exert influence is by voting in county elections and in referenda held by the county. County residents can also submit initiatives concerning the activities of their county.

The county executive must appoint:

  • a youth council or similar group to ensure opportunities for young people to participate and exert influence;
  • a council for older people; and
  • a council for people with disabilities.

The purpose of these councils is to make the voice of the groups they represent heard in the activities and decision-making of the county. The wellbeing services county can appoint other resident groups in addition to the councils listed above.

County councils must ensure that county residents have diverse and effective opportunities for participation. Participation and exerting influence can be furthered especially by:

  1. arranging discussion and consultation events and setting up resident panels
  2. finding out residents’ opinions before decision-making;
  3. selecting representatives of service users to the county’s decision-making bodies;
  4. planning and developing services together with service users;
  5. organising opportunities to participate in the county’s financial planning;
  6. supporting independent planning and preparation of matters by residents, organisations and other corporations.


Markku Mölläri, Ministerial Adviser, tel. 02955 30281, markku.mollari(at)
Jari Mäkäläinen, Senior Specialist, tel. 02955 30541, jari.makalainen(at)