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How Finland's public administration works

Finland’s system of government comprises the highest state bodies, courts, state administration, and other public administration. The regions, wellbeing services counties, municipalities and their authorities cooperate closely with regional and local state authorities.

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Highest state bodies

Finland's highest state bodies are Parliament, the President of the Republic and the Government.


The courts exercise judicial power independently. They decide in each case what is in accordance with the law.

Finland as part of the European Union

Finland is one of the member countries of the European Union. In a number of matters, the EU makes joint decisions, while in others, each member country can act independently.

Central government

Central government comprises the ministries and the national agencies operating in their administrative branches.

Regional state administration

Regional State Administrative Agencies and the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment act as the regional state administrative authorities.

Local state administration

The agencies managing local state administrative duties include the police departments, tax offices, the employment and economic development offices.

Municipalities and local government

Municipalities are self-governing units and they are responsible for providing their residents with statutory basic services.

Wellbeing services county

The wellbeing services county produces the following in its own region social welfare and health care services and rescue services.


In addition to municipalities, there are also other self-governing entities Finland. These include the region of Åland, churches and other religious communities as well as the universities.

State business operations

The State of Finland owns shares in about 30 companies. State ownership steering is the responsibility of the Ownership Steering Department at the Prime Minister's Office.

Indirect public administration

Indirect public administration means organisations that are not authorities but that perform public tasks or exercise public power.

Rights and obligations of public servants

Public servants are employees working in a public-service relationship in central or local government or elsewhere in the public administration.