Head of Delegation
Ms Pauliina HAIJANEN
Member of the Executive Board of Laitila City Council
List of Members
Ms Erja Horttanainen
Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities
Toinen linja 14 FI-00530 HELSINKI
Tel: +358 9 771 2528
Ms Anu WIKMAN-IMMONEN
Association of the Finnish Local and Regional Authorities
Toinen linja 14
FI - 00530 HELSINKI
Tel.: +358 9 771 25 32
Mobile: +358 50 5252 874
Fax: +358 9 771 25 35
The Finnish delegation is composed of nine members and nine alternates. The members represent municipalities, towns and regional councils.
Appointing the Finnish delegation
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy (MEE)asks the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities to nominate persons to be elected to the Committee of the Regions (CoR). Following their Autonomy Act the Åland Islands nominate one member and one alternate. The political distribution of the delegation seats is determined according to the outcome of the previous local election. In the election of members the geographical balance and the balance between local authority members and regional council members shall be observed. The representation between men and women shall be equal in the delegation. The members are appointed for five years at a time by the Council of the European Union on the proposal by the Finnish Government.
Organisation and promoting policy interests
The Finnish delegation has devoted special attention to finding ways of improving public confidence in the EU. The Finnish delegation wishes to stress the importance of tangible achievements in policy areas where the EU can act more effectively than Member States alone. The Finnish delegation strives to improve the transparency and effectiveness of decision-making and the quality of lawmaking regarding the way the EU operates.
The CoR was the first of the EU bodies to produce documents addressing the Northern Dimension. The Finnish delegation finds it necessary that there will be additional focus on the Northern Dimension. The Northern Dimension is linked to cooperation between states in the Baltic Sea region and EU policy towards Russia, the development of which is both timely and necessary. Moreover, the delegation emphasizes the importance of the Baltic Sea strategy, employment policy, enlargement issues, the European digital strategy, information society and sustainable development, among others.
The Finnish delegation finds it important that national delegations to the CoR have good working relations with their respective national permanent representations to the EU. Contacts with national permanent representations could be used as a platform for developing cooperation between the European Union and the CoR. Such cooperation would serve as an important channel for promoting the interests of local and regional authorities at EU level. The promotion of cooperation between the member state currently holding the EU Presidency and the CoR is particularly important.
The Finnish delegation also believes that one of the key goals of the CoR should be to intensify cooperation between the CoR and other European institutions and organisations which promote the interests of local and regional government.
Local government structure in Finland
Local authorities (municipalities) play a major role in Finland and have wide-ranging powers. Municipalities enjoy autonomy in respect of their financial decision-making, which is based on the power to levy income taxes. Municipalities provide basic services for the local population, the most important of which include social welfare and health care services, education, environmental services and technical infrastructure.
Residents elect the local council, which is the municipality's highest decision-making body, for a term of four years. The council has general powers to decide on municipal affairs. The municipal board is responsible for day-to-day administration of the municipality and its finances, for preparing matters brought before the council, for implementing council decisions and for overseeing the legality of such decisions. Each municipality must also have a city/town or municipal manager (“mayor”), who is appointed by the council to work under the municipal board.
There are 336 municipalities in Finland. The average local tax rate is 19.17% (2011).
For further information, visit the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities website