GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Government: Constitution Act of 1919 basis of
government both parliamentary and presidential. Division
among legislative, executive, and judicial branches only
and resulting overlapping of competencies ensures that
authorities act according to Constitution. Supreme power
with the Finnish people, who elect through universal
200-member Eduskunta, country's parliament. This body
more powerful than president, the supreme executive, who
can act only through Council of State, or cabinet, whose
come mainly from Eduskunta.
Politics: As many as a dozen parties actively
articulate wide range of political viewpoints. Smaller
parties, socialist and nonsocialist, have participated in
governments in the postwar era. All parties with members
Eduskunta receive state subsidies. Party newspapers also
state financial support.
Legal System: Independent judges and
guarantees protect integrity of judicial system consisting
general courts that deal with civil and criminal cases and
administrative courts concerned with appeals against
government agencies. General courts exist at three levels:
appeal, and Supreme Court; administrative courts exist at
provincial and Supreme Administrative Court levels.
justice, Finland's highest prosecutor, and parliamentary
ombudsman charged with rectifying legal injustice.
Foreign Relations: Finland follows what is
termed an active and peaceful policy of neutrality. Member
Nordic Council, European Free Trade Association (EFTA),
of Europe, and United Nations (UN).
Data as of December 1988