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Governance and citizenship

EU’s impact - 02.02.2015

Can the extent of the European influence on local government be calculated? The answer by our Finnish association
It is no secret that the European Institutions’ actions have a decisive impact on local and regional authorities’ matters, whether it be legislation or jurisprudence handed down by the European Court of Justice. And this holds particularly true in areas such as public services and public procurement, urban transport, environment and even inter-municipal agreements… In doing this, Europe decides on regulations which significantly affect the daily lives of each and every one of us as well as the decisions taken by local governments.

Can the extent of this European influence be calculated? According to a report issued by our Finnish association (AFLRA), the EU has an effect on over a half of the functions and decisions of municipalities.

The EU and municipalities' statutory functions

This report shows that the EU has a considerable impact on Finnish local government functions. 60% of the 535 municipal statutory functions surveyed were impacted by the EU.

The least impacted were the functions within the mandate of the Ministry of Transport and Communications: an impact was identified for 36% of the functions. The highest EU impact, 81%, was identified for the functions within the mandate of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.

The EU and municipal decisions

An analysis of local council agendas indicated that the EU impacts on slightly over 50% of the matters decided on by Finnish municipalities.

Similar results were obtained when examining the city of Helsinki decision-making bodies: the EU impacts on 47% of the city's decisions.

See also: The European Commission and its impact of local government

The report examined the extent to which the EU influences the statutory functions of Finnish local authorities and the decisions of local councils and the city of Helsinki.

The data examined for the report consisted of the Ministry of Finance list of the 535 functions of municipalities, agendas of ten local councils and the Helsinki city council's and committees' agendas.
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