Regional Councils in Finland

The Finnish Regional Councils are joint regional authorities and their members are the municipalities in the corresponding geographical regions. Together, the 18 Regional Councils cover the entire country. 

Väripylväät. Kuva Tuula Palaste

The Regional Councils are mandated in Finnish law and each council receives its funding from its member municipalities. They also receive funds for regional development from the Government and the European Union.

The councils operate according to the principles of local self-government and they  articulate common regional needs, long term development goals and conditions for sustainable development. The tasks of the councils include regional and land-use planning, and the promotion of local and regional interests in general.

Development plans elaborate policy objectives in the areas of

  • housing, logistics, infrastructure and the environment
  • employment opportunities, education and innovation
  • public services and welfare.

To support their strategic planning, the Regional Councils also assemble statistics about their regions, either by contracting out studies or by producing their own. As well as providing funding for local projects, the councils are also actively involved in the promotion of cross-border cooperation among European regions.