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What a municipality does?

How a municipality works?

The highest decision-making body of the municipality is the municipal council. It is decided by the broad lines of action, but the council can accommodate a number of actors who decide and influence our daily lives.

The statutory duties of the municipality

The mandatory duties of a municipality are decided by law. In addition to this, the municipality can also provide other services of its own, for example in connection with employment and housing. The municipality’s activities are financed by municipal tax and state aid.

The statutory duties of the municipality are related to the following services:

                              • education and kindergarten
                              • culture, youth, and library
                              • urban planning, land use
                              • water and waste management
                              • environmental services

    Who decides?

    The municipal council

    The municipal or city council is the highest decision-making body of the municipality, which is responsible for the municipality’s finances and activities. The municipal council creates big lines for how the municipality will operate in the future.

    The municipal council is a particularly influential institution in our daily lives, because, with the councils, a member can bring an initiative to a meeting about a measure related to your immediate environment. For example, in 2021, an initiative was taken to reduce sanding in residential areas. However, this is just one of the many initiatives taken by the Commissioners that you can find out more about here.

    The municipal board

    When the municipal council decides on the broad lines of action, the municipal board is the body that implements the council’s decisions and takes care of the finances. The task of the board is to represent the municipality and monitor the municipality’s interests. The municipal council also elects the government. The person elected head of the municipal government acts as the mayor of the municipality. A person elected to the municipal council who receives more than half of the votes of the municipal councilors is elected mayor. For this reason, the party’s election victory is also relevant to the mayoral competition.



    The committees operating in the municipalities are expert training bodies. The activities of the committees are supervised by the municipal government. They prepare matters for the council and the board that falls under the administration of the board, but also have independent influence. The activities and number of committees vary from municipality to municipality, but in Helsinki, for example, welfare services, the environment, education, and culture have their boards.