Regional development is cooperation

Regional development is multi-level activity and cooperation of administrative branches based on interaction between the state, regional councils, municipalities and others, which is founded on the different national and regional strengths and needs. Regional development aims to promote sustainable development, growth and competitiveness of the regions, the wellbeing of residents and the quality of the living environment.

It is based on interaction between ministries, counties, municipalities and other operators. In regional development, the goals and measures of different counties and administrative branches are examined together both from national and regional perspectives. This examination covers both the measures and resources of regional development and the effects of policy-making (in different sectors) on regional development. A central task of the authorities responsible for regional development is to create conditions for this cooperation and for the formation of a shared vision.

The Government decides on the national regional development priorities for each government term (regional development decision). The regional development decision steers the development of the different administrative branches and regions of the regional councils, and the coordination of these measures. The regional development decision is prepared in cooperation between the ministries, regions and other partners. 

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for regional development and coordinates the planning, implementation and monitoring of regional development. 

Regional Councils serve as regional development authorities in the counties. ELY Centres contribute to regional development by carrying out the central government’s implementation and development tasks in the regions.

The objectives of regional development, the authorities’ tasks and the programmes are defined in the Act on Regional Development and implementation of the European Union’s regional and structural policy (756/2021).

Further information: Petra Stenfors, petra.stenfors(at) and Hanna-Maria Urjankangas, hanna-maria.urjankangas(at)