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Highest state bodies

Finland is a constitutional republic where the power belongs to the people. 

Finland's highest state bodies are Parliament, the President of the Republic and the Government.  Finland is a parliamentary republic, which means that the Government must have the support of Parliament. 


Parliament is the highest decision-making body. Finnish citizens elect 200 Members of Parliament among themselves in elections every four years. The elections are direct, proportional and held by secret ballot.  Passing of laws, deciding on the state budget and the approval of the international agreements, conventions and treaties applying to Finland are the most important tasks of Parliament. 

Parliament passes the laws and supervises the work of the Government, which is the highest executive body. Members of Parliament use their supervisory powers by presenting motions of censure and written and oral questions to the Government.


The Government consists of the Prime Minister and the required number of other ministers. The ministers are in charge of their ministries and the administrative branches of the ministries. 

The Government is the highest executive body and it conducts Finland’s foreign policy in cooperation with the President.  It also drafts the state budget and the legislative proposals, which must both be approved by Parliament. 


The President of the Republic is elected  for a term of six years in a direct election. If necessary, there are two rounds of voting. The same person may only be elected for a maximum of two consecutive terms. 

The President approves the laws passed by Parliament and the state budget. The President appoints the Prime Minister (at the proposal of Parliament) as well as the other ministers and the highest public servants (at the proposal of the Prime Minister). The President conducts Finland’s foreign policy in cooperation with the Government. The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Defence Forces.

Text edited by: editorial team
Updated: 9/6/2017