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Our Organisation in 2016

Regional Administration in Finland

Each regional council in Finland is governed by a regional assembly and a regional board assisted by the council's office run by the director of the council (regional mayor).

The Assembly of Regional Council is the regional council's highest political decision-making body. The municipalities of the region elect representatives to the assembly for a four-year electoral term. The Council's charter defines the number of municipal representatives based on the number of municipal residents. The assembly's composition must correspond to the proportion of votes exercised by the region's political groups. Moreover, the members of regional assemblies must be local councillors of the member municipalities. Regional council must also ensure that the assembly, elected every four years at a special municipal representatives’ meeting, meets the legal requirements on gender equality. Regional assemblies usually convene at least twice annually.

The regional assembly of Kainuu has 35 members, each of them have personal vice members. Both the actual member and the Vice member are elected the same way and are local councillors of the member municipalities. The number of municipal representatives is defined based on the situation at the turn of the year preceding the municipal elections. 

The number of municipal representatives in the regional assembly is as follows:

  • Kajaani, 15
  • Kuhmo, 4
  • Sotkamo, 4
  • Suomussalmi, 4
  • Hyrynsalmi, 2
  • Paltamo, 2
  • Puolanka, 2
  • Ristijärvi, 2

The regional council's preparatory, executive and administrative body is a board, which is elected by the regional assembly and is representative of the region's political composition. Regional boards normally convene once a month.

The regional board of Kainuu has 12 members. According to the charter, there are at least 4 representatives from Kajaani and the other member municipalities each have at least 1 representative.

The most important task of the regional management committee is to prepare EU programmes and steer EU funds to their implementation. The committee also issues statements on the financing of projects. In terms of national regional policy, the committee's main task is to participate in the drafting and implementation of the Regional Programme.

The Regional Management Committee of Kainuu (Maakunnan yhteistyöryhmä MYR) is elected by the regional board. The Committee has 16 members and 8 specialist members. The members represent the following groups:

1) The office of Regional Council and its member municipalities,
2) The state officials funding the programme and other government organizations and
3) Other organizations essential to the regional development, such as business and labour market organizations, environmental organizations, organizations representing the civil society or the gender equality (social partners).

The inspection board of Regional Council of Kainuu has 7 members elected by the Regional Assembly. According to the charter the president and the Vice president of the board are elected among the actual members of the Regional Assembly, other members being either members or vice members of the Regional Assembly. The task of the board is to monitor that the objectives set for the operations of the Regional Council by the Assembly of the Council are met.

The Office of the Regional Council

The regional councils in Finland have two main functions laid down by law: 1) regional development and 2) regional land use planning. The councils are the regions' key international actors and they are largely responsible for the EU's Structural Fund programmes and their implementation. Regional councils have the key role in promoting the region's interests. The regional council protects the region's culture and traditions in many ways by networking with the actors in the region and in the same fields to promote the well-being or the region in a broad meaning.

The regional board of Kainuu is assisted by the regional council’s office. The office is headed by Regional Mayor Pentti Malinen, who acts as rapporteur at the board meetings and is the head of staff. The staff of the office works in three remits: Land Use, Regional Development and Administration, with the help of several teams crossing the remit boundaries.

More information is the web site of the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities. The Association’s goal is to promote the opportunities for local authorities to operate for the benefit of their residents. The association looks after the interests of local authorities and provides them with research, development and other expert services.

Please contact us for further information:

Ms Paula Halonen, Administrative Director