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työ- ja elinkeinoministeriö

National regional development                                 

The objective of national regional policy is to develop the national and international competitiveness of the regions, a viable and balanced regional structure and to rise to the special challenges of the regions.


The common targets of regional development in Finland are based on the Regional Development Act and the Government decision on national regional development targets. Under the Act, one of the targets is to improve the potential for economic growth, the development of business and industry and the improvement of employment that are based on expertise and sustainable development and ensure the competitiveness and prosperity of regions. Another target is to reduce regional disparities in development, improve the population’s living conditions and promote balanced regional development. Furthermore, the aim is to create a balanced regional structure which keeps all the regions viable. The responsibility for regional development rests with the State, municipalities and Regional Councils acting as regional development authorities.


Special programmes have been drawn up by Government decision to attain these targets. The programmes are the Regional Centre Programme, Centre of Expertise Programme, Rural Policy Overall Programme (including Regional Rural Part) and the Island Development Programme. The programme structure will be reformed. European Union (EU) cohesion policy complements and supports national policy.


Act and Government Decree on Regional Development

Act on regional development (1651/2009) (pdf) (42.2 KB)

Government Decree on regional development (1837/2009) (pdf) (20.1 KB)

Page last updated: 08.06.2010

Links to other websites

Regional development Terminology (Finnish, Swedish, English, German, French)