Finland is a republic. The highest organs of government in Finland are the Parliament of Finland, the President of the Republic and the Finnish Government.
Parliament (eduskunta) enacts laws and decides upon the state budget. Parliament also supervises the operations of the government. The parliament includes 200 Members of Parliament. The Members of Parliament are appointed by election for four years at a time.
Information on who can vote in parliamentary elections is available here.
President of the Republic
The Finnish head of state is the President of the Republic (tasavallan presidentti). The President is appointed by election. The term of office of the President is six years. The same person cannot serve as President for more than two consecutive terms, i.e. 12 years.
The President of the Republic
- ratifies laws,
- appoints the highest officials,
- leads foreign policy together with the government and
- acts as the Supreme Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces.
The government (hallitus) includes the Prime Minister and other ministers. Parliament selects the Prime Minister and the President appoints him/her to the task. Other ministers are appointed by the President according to the suggestions of the Prime Minister.
The government prepares and implements the decisions made by Parliament. The government is responsible for its actions to the Parliament, which means that the ministers must have Parliament’s confidence. The ministries prepare the matters that are decided by the government. The ministers lead the work of the ministry officials. Numerous agencies and departments operate under the ministries. The Finnish Immigration Service, for example, is an agency operating under the Ministry of the Interior.
Local state administration
Local state administration refers to those authorities that handle state duties in a particular area. The following authorities are part of the local state administration:
- Distraint offices
- Local register offices
- Employment and Economic Development Offices
- Tax offices
- Legal Aid Offices
Information on authorities and their tasks is available here Important authorities.