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Reform in Local Government Structures

The Government will carry out reforms in municipalities across the country. The aim is to create a thriving local government structure built on economically robust municipalities. Economically robust municipalities consist of customary commuter areas large enough to be able to provide basic public services, with the exception of specialised medical care and demanding social welfare services. Economically robust municipalities are capable of conducting successful policies in business and industry, development strategies, and preventing urban sprawl.

With local government structures becoming stronger and more cohesive, the need for inter-municipal cooperation will diminish. This, in turn, will make administration clearer and simpler, and will bolster local democracy.

By reorganising local government structures, it will be possible to create a service structure where the power and responsibility for organising services is allocated to a single authority equipped with a sufficiently large population and skills base. With the range of service provision methods becoming more versatile and in order to meet the growing demand for freedom of choice among clients, strong autonomous municipalities are best equipped to manage the markets.

Surveys on the most expedient structure for municipalities and services, criteria for the formation of robust municipalities and measures to implement the reforms was published in February 2012. An extensive regional round of consultations was carried out in early spring 2012.

On the basis of the surveys and consultations an Act on Local Government Structures was brought into force in July 2013. The aim is to make decisions on a new local government structure by the end of 2014.   

The reform in local government structures will pave the way for comprehensive amendments to the Local Government Act as well as revamping of the system of central government transfers to local government. The amendment of the Local Government Act commenced in spring 2012 with a view to bringing the amended act into force by the beginning of 2015.

The reorganisation of the system of central government transfers to local government started in autumn 2012. The contents of the new system were approved by the Government in April 2014 so that the new system will be in place by the beginning of 2015.

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Further information

Contact information

Director-General Ms Päivi Laajala,
tel. +358 2955 30026

Cabinet Counselor Ms Auli Valli-Lintu,
tel. +359 2955 30079

Senior Adviser for Legislative Affairs Ms Eeva Mäenpää
tel. +358 2955 30266

Ministerial Adviser Ms Anu Hernesmaa
tel. +358 2955 30027

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