The Regional Council of Southwest Finland is one of Finland's 19 regional councils. Regional councils are joint municipal authorities. Their role is to operate both as regional development authorities and as planning and lobbying organizations.
The Council is comprised of 27 municipalities, which finance the Council's operations with contributions that are proportionate to the size of their populations.
Promoter of Regional Development
The Council is responsible on a regional level for land use planning. The Council also formulates a longterm, strategic Regional Scheme, and a Regional Programme that is reviewed every four years to coincide with the term that elected councillors serve in office. These aim to harmonise measures from various official quarters which have an impact on regional development.
The regions long term development is shown on a map in the Regional Land Use Plan.
The Council also grants Regional Development funds for projects that put the goals of the Regional Programme and Plan into action.
Promoting of interests is facilitated by the close contacts between the Council and members of parliament who live in the region.
In addition to being responsible for administering the EU programmes implemented in the region, the Regional Council of Southwest Finland maintains contacts internationally. The Council has an office in Brussels that is shared with the City of Turku and the universities. In St Petersburg a Turku office is maintained in the Finlandhouse.
A Democratic Decision Maker
The Regional Council's highest decision-making body is its 101-member Assembly. The members of the Assembly are municipal councillors from their home municipalities.
The 19-member Managing Board, which meets once a month, functions as the executive body of the Assembly.
Chairman of the Board of the Regional Council chairs the board meetings.