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First page / State and municipalities / Other self-government

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 bodies 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 is a state-owned national public service media company which is supervised by the Finnish parliament. Yle is funded by a tax allocated to Yle. Yle’s duties include providing programming for different language groups, minorities and special groups.


Universities have an autonomous status in Finland. They have both judicial and administrative independency. This guarantees them an independent position in science and arranging education. The universities are funded by the state but have also fundraising activities of their own. Studying in a university is typically free of charge for the citizens of Finland.

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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