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JUHANI ARTTO
HOMEPAGE 2013

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TRADE UNION NEWS
FROM FINLAND 1997-2013

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MAAILMALTA 1999-2013

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A new English language report explains how the municipal system functions in Finland

JHL (11.11.2010 - Juhani Artto) Municipalities play a big role in the lives of Finns. This is primarily due to the vast responsibilities municipalities have in organizing basic education and health care, social and many other vital services citizens need at various stages of their lives.

How all this is organized is outlined in a new English language
publication, published by the Government Institute for Economic Research VATT. The 65-page pdf-file can be loaded here.

According to VATT the publication is the most comprehensive English language report on municipal finances in Finland. The report is written not only for readers abroad but the authors believe that the material -an updated study- will be useful reading also for many Finns.

The importance of municipalities as central service providers is well
reflected in the fact that some18 per cent of GDP is spent by the
municipalities. And, also we need to remember, that one fifth of the working population are employed by the municipalities.

At the beginning of 2010 there were 342 municipalities. Thus the average size of municipalities is rather small as Finland has only 5.3 million inhabitants.

A special feature of the Finnish municipal system is that municipalities,
located close to each other, are accustomed to forming so-called joint authorities. This enables even the smallest municipalities to carry out their statutory obligations to provide a variety of services. In January 2010 there were 226 joint authorities.

As to the future of the municipalities many important questions remain open. These are discussed in the new VATT report. It also contains useful international comparisons.

The Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL is the largest union among the municipal employees.

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Antti Moisio, Heikki A.Loikkanen, Lasse Oulasvirta: Public services at the local level - The Finnish way, VATT Policy Report 2