Participate and Influence

It is important for us to be included in the society and to have the ability to influence things that are important to us. Therefore, opportunities to  influence the decision-making should be actively provided. Finnish social and health policy helps bolster the participation and quality of life of different groups in the population. The municipalities and regions have been working to develop inclusion and participation for decades. Also the many associations operating in Kainuu region offer you plenty of chances to influence the society you live in. On this page, we have compiled information on the channels you may use to influence things in Kainuu region. Dive in, get involved and leave your mark!

Regional Decision-Making

Kainuu Well-being Service County

The health and social services reform will see the responsibility for organizing healthcare, social welfare and rescue services shift from municipalities to larger autonomous regions, that is, counties. Participation of the citizens is one of the principles to be considered in the planning and implementation of the welfare counties.

The welfare counties are organized using the democratic municipal decision-making methods.  In addition to the representative democracy, various forms of civic activity and participation shall be emphasized, for example through associations and other voluntary activities. The welfare counties must also take care of organizing special youth councils and councils for the elderly and disabled.

Read More on the Website of Kainuu Welfare County (in Finnish)

Regional Council of Kainuu

The Regional Council of Kainuu promotes the vitality and sustainable development of Kainuu region and the well-being of its inhabitants. The organisation is responsible for the general development of the region and the regional land use planning and promotes the livelihoods of Kainuu region through its role as the funding authority for EU programmes.

The Assembly of Regional Council (35 members) and the Regional Board (12 members) are the regional council’s highest political decision-making bodies. In addition to the above mentioned, there are also other kinds of decision making bodies and the office of the Regional Councils also actively offers the people of Kainuu opportunities to influence during the preparation of decisions.

Read More on the Website of Regional Council of Kainuu

Municipal Decision-Making

Under the Constitution of Finland, municipalities are self-governing units and they have the right to tax their residents. The state may only intervene in the activities of the self-governing units in certain cases.

Municipalities are steered by political decision-making. The municipal council is the highest decision-making body in a municipality. Its members are elected by municipal residents for four years in local elections based on universal suffrage.  The municipal council elects the members of the municipal executive, the task of which is to draft decisions for the council and put them into practice. The municipal council also elects members to municipal committees, which are in charge of the provision of public services in the municipality. The names of the municipal committees and the scope of their activities vary by municipality.

Get Involved in an Association

Advisory Board on Association Affairs

The advisory board aims to promote co-operation in the field of association activities; to draw up a regional strategy, to compile together the viewpoints of the organizations involved and to be a multidisciplinary co-operation body of associations and organizations, representing the field of organizations at the various partnerships. The advisory board shall maintain and ensure dialogue between associations and public sector actors, strengthen the associations role in regional planning and development work, as well as in providing services.

Active Villages

The village activities in Kainuu are coordinated by the Kainuun Nuotta association, established by associations of rural village communities and residents ’associations operating in the urban areas of Kainuu region. There are altogether 120–150 villages in Kainuu, depending on the calculation method.


Register of Associations

The PRH (Finnish Patent and Registration Office) keeps the Finnish Register of Associations, containing many kinds of details of registered associations. Using the advanced association search function, you’ll be able to search the database also by the municipality the association is registered in.


Youth Councils

According to Finnish law, young people must be given the opportunity to participate in matters concerning local and regional youth work and policies. In addition, young people need to be consulted on matters that concern them. One way to achieve this goal has been through youth advocacy groups that work in slightly different ways from each other and may also be called by different names. Youth councils are non-political groups of young people who work in their own municipalities to promote the interests of local young people. There is an active youth council (NuVa) in each of the Kainuu municipalities, and also a regional youth council in Kainuu.