Participation and elections

The Ministry of Justice oversees the structures of democracy and the fundamental rights of citizens. Legislation regarding participation and elections is drafted in the Ministry of Justice.

Information about Finnish elections, electoral legislation and political parties can be found in English on the website

Links to the various democracy-related websites and news about matters to be decided have been gathered to the website

Citizens can participate in the preparation of legislation and different kinds of projects by commenting current issues on the website where citizens can discuss and follow projects.

According to the Act on citizens' initiative at least fifty thousand Finnish citizens entitled to vote have the right to submit an initiative for the enactment of an act to the Parliament. Initiatives can be launched in the online service

There is also an online service for launching residents' initiatives, It is meant for both municipal residents and municipalities.

Website enables statutory consultation online. (in Finnish) (in Finnish) (in Finnish) (in Finnish) (in Finnish) (in Finnish)

Judicial system

Information about the judicial system, i.e. Finnish courts, prosecution service, legal aid and enforcement, is available in English on the website The site contains, among other things, information about judicial procedures and applying for legal aid. Additionally, the site contains different kinds of forms for citizens. is a service provided by the Finnish public administration that contains e-services and forms for citizens, information about public services and news from the public administration. It contains useful information and guidance according to topics relevant in different phases of life.

Legislation in Finlex

The web service Finlex is a public database which provides judicial material free of charge.

The service includes legislation, case law, government proposals, secondary legislation and international treaties. It also contains translations of Finnish acts and decrees. Online guidelines on law drafting also are published in Finlex, e.g Legislative Drafting Process Guide.

Criminal offences and penalties

The Criminal Sanctions Agency, which operates under the Ministry of Justice, is the executive authority for the enforcement of sentences of imprisonment and community sanctions. The Criminal Sanctions Agency aims to prevent recidivism and increase security in the society.

The aim of crime prevention is to reduce crime and its effects and to increase safety and the sense of security in the society. Special goals within the administrative branch of the Ministry of Justice include preventing recidivism and decreasing violence.

Violence is prevented through cooperation with other actors and local crime prevention projects. Citizen participation in developing a safe environment is encouraged. Efforts are also made to improve the position of crime victims.

Criminal Sanctions Agency
National Council for Crime Prevention
Website on safety planning (in Finnish)
Website on decreasing violence (in Finnish)


The strategic planning and decision-making at the Ministry of Justice are based on evaluation of the results and effectiveness of the operations and an operating policy that builds upon research data. From the perspective of the Ministry and its administrative branch, wide-ranging scientific basic research and development of science and research in disciplines such as criminology, law and legal policy are vital.

The Ministry of Justice itself does not conduct research activities in any significant amount, but it commissions universities, research institutes and other research producers to generate information in accordance with its needs. Research for example on legal circumstances, criminality, fundamental and human rights, linguistic rights and democracy is important for the Ministry’s operations. The Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy (KRIMO) is the most important body producing research data needed in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Justice. The statutory duties of KRIMO include monitoring and analysing the functioning of the criminal sanction system and crime control, criminality, legal circumstances, and impacts of the legislation.

The Ministry of Justice participates actively in the Government’s joint analysis, assessment and research activities (VN TEAS), coordinated by the Prime Minister’s Office, which generate information that supports decision-making, working practices and management by knowledge

The research strategy of the Ministry of Justice determines the objectives for research activities in 2017-2020 (publication in Finnish).

Finnish Election Study Portal
The European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations
Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy
Statistics on justice by Statistics Finland
Statistics on elections
Findicator - Statistical service provided by Statistics Finland and the Prime Minister's Office

Suomeksi - På svenska - In English - Other languages

Ministry of Justice, Finland

Ministry of Justice, Finland

Entry page » Current issues » Archived content » Finland's EU Presidency 2006

Finland's EU Presidency 2006

Priorities in judicial co-operation
Meetings of the Ministry of Justice in Finland
Key Persons in Justice Affairs during Finland’s EU Presidency

Each EU member state in turn has the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for six months. Finland will have the EU Presidency from 1 July until 31 December 2006.

It is the task of the EU Presidency to chair the sessions of the Council and the European Council. The Presidency also chairs and prepares meetings of working groups and committees. The Presidency also represents the Council in relation to the other institutions of the European Union and the European Union in the external relations.

The foundation for the present co-operation in justice and home affairs was created during the previous Finnish Presidency at the European Council meeting in Tampere in 1999. Finland’s current Presidency will continue the strong development of this policy area on the basis of the Hague Programme. The assessment of the implementation of the programme during Finland’s Presidency will provide good opportunities for co-operation.

In the area of legal affairs, the goals of Finland’s Presidency include the efficient implementation of decisions that have been agreed upon and the development of co-operation among authorities in the member states. It has the further aim of deepening EU co-operation on civil and criminal law. Another priority is developing anti-terrorism work while respecting human and fundamental rights.

The focus will be on projects that further the implementation of the principle of mutual recognition. This will entail that a decision by a court in one member state will be immediately enforceable in another.

Finland’s EU Presidency
Preliminary agenda for Finland’s EU Presidency (PDF file, 16 pages)
EU Council programme of activities for 2006, drawn up by Austria and Finland (PDF file, 59 pages)
Finland’s EU Presidency 2006 (Council of State pages)
List of all meetings during the Presidency (Council of State pages)
EU Council
The Hague Programme: strengthening freedom, security and justice in the EU (PDF-file, 14 pages)

Updated on 3 July 2006

Published 4.2.2017
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