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Other self-government

In Finland, municipal self-government is the most important form of self-government. Other associations or organisations with the right to self-government include the Provincial Autonomy of the Åland Islands, churches and religious communities and universities. These forms of self-government vary in relation to their status and execution.

The Provincial Autonomy of the Åland Islands

The autonomy of the Åland Islands is established on the basis of the autonomy granted to it by international treaties. In the framework of its autonomy, the Åland Islands has its own political and administrative organs responsible for decision-making.

The Parliament of Åland (lagtinget) exercises legislative power within the framework permitted by its autonomous position. Otherwise the laws enacted by Finland's Parliament apply. The Government of Åland (landskapsregeringen) is responsible for regional administration.

Autonomy of churches and religious communities

Churches and religious communities that function in Finland have their own autonomy, which is founded on the freedom of religion defined in the Constitution of Finland. The Evangelical Lutheran and the Orthodox Churches have special status under public law.

The Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE

YLE has a particular status under public law in Finland because of its public duties and right of taxation. Financing YLE through a tax is meant to guarantee its independence. YLE is owned by the state but supervised by the Finnish Parliament.

Universities

Universities have an autonomous status in Finland. Headed by their own elected officials, they are responsible for their own administration. The State authorities are largely responsible for financing the universities, and studying is generally free of charge. The position of Aalto University is exceptional, as it is simultaneously both a foundation-based institute (covered by indirect public administration) and an autonomous university. The Tampere University of Technology is also foundation-based.

Diagram of the public administration

This diagram shows in highlight the position of other self-government in the structure of the public administration.

 Åland, churches and universities have autonomous status.

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Suomi.fi editorial team | State Treasury