Citizens can influence national legislation and decision-making in their home municipalities, wellbeing services counties or in the European Union by submitting or supporting initiatives.
The citizens’ initiative is a tool for Finnish citizens to directly influence legislation. You can use a citizens’ initiative to propose a new act or to amend or repeal existing legislation.
A citizens’ initiative may proceed to the Parliament’s consideration if it is signed by at least 50,000 citizens in favour of the initiative within six months since the initiative has been registered in the kansalaisaloite.fi service.
You may prepare a citizens’ initiative if you are a citizen of Finland entitled to vote in the parliamentary elections. You can use the kansalaisaloite.fi service for submitting your initiative and collecting signatures, or opinions in favour of the initiative.
You can collect signatures for a citizens’ initiative both electronically and using a paper form. Any citizen of Finland entitled to vote may support a valid initiative.
For instance, changing the Marriage Act, i.e. the so-called equal marriage act, and the Maternity Act started out as citizens' initiatives that proceeded to the Parliament.
The Local Government Act guarantees residents the right to file a resident’s initiative in matters related to the municipality’s activities. The municipality must inform the resident of the measures taken as a result of their initiative. You can use the kuntalaisaloite.fi service to submit your initiative if your municipality has joined the service.
Residents, communities and foundations that operate in municipalities, and those who own or control fixed property in the municipalities have the right to file initiatives in matters concerning the municipality’s activities. Users of the service are also entitled to file initiatives in matters concerning the municipality’s service in question.
In addition, four per cent of the municipality's residents aged 15 or over may submit an initiative to the municipality to organise a municipal referendum.
Based on the Act on Wellbeing services counties, wellbeing services county members and service users are entitled to participate in and influence the county's activities.
The members of the wellbeing services counties, i.e. the residents, municipalities, communities and foundations in a member municipality, and those with ownership or control of fixed property located in the county, have the right to file initiatives in matters concerning the county's activities. Users of the service are also entitled to file initiatives in matters concerning the county’s service in question.
Initiatives can be submitted to the register office of the wellbeing services county by email or post. Contact details of the registry offices can be found on the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs and HealthOpens in a new window..
The Ministry of Justice is preparing a new online service for submitting initiatives regarding wellbeing services county tasks and services. This new online service will be launched at the end of 2023.
Citizen of the Member States of the European Union can submit European citizens' initiatives. Citizens’ commissions that include at least seven EU citizens living in at least seven different EU Member States may submit a citizens' initiative.
A European citizens' initiative will proceed to processing by the Commission once it is supported by a million people from at least one fourth of the Member States. The signatures must be collected within a one-year period.