Finland

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Question Value
Legal provisions for mandatory referendums at national level
  • No
Legal provisions for optional referendums at national level
  • Yes
Legal provisions for citizens' initiatives at national level
  • No
Legal provisions for agenda initiatives at national level
  • Yes
Legal provisions for recall at national level
  • No
Legal provisions for direct democracy at the regional level
  • No
Legal provisions for direct democracy at the local level
  • Optional referendum
  • Agenda initiative
Legal basis for direct democracy at the national level
  • Constitutional
  • Specific laws/legislation
  • Regulations
Legal basis for administrative requirements at the national level
  • Specific laws/legislation
Who administers direct democracy mechanisms at the national level?
  • Government
First referendum/initiative held
  • 1931
Has there been a national referendum since 1980?
  • Yes

Question Value
Issues in relation to which referendums are mandatory at the national level
  • None
Issues in relation to which referendums are optional at the national level
  • Not specified
Issues excluded from being the subject of referendums at the national level
  • None
Issues of sub-national referendums regulated at the national level
  • None
Who can initiate an optional referendum at the national level?
  • Legislative majority
Who drafts the referendum question?
  • Optional referendum - Legislature
Who decides on the final form of the ballot text?
  • Optional referendum - Government
  • Optional referendum - Legislature
Quorum requirements for a referendum to be valid
  • No quorum requirements
Requirements for a referendum to pass
  • Not specified by legislation
Are referendum results binding?
  • Optional referendum - never

Question Value
Issues that can be proposed by citizens using the initiative process at the national level
  • Agenda initiatives - legislative proposals
Issues excluded from being the subject of an initiative at the national level
  • Adoption of international treaties
Who may propose the registration of an initiative?
  • Agenda initiative - a number of individuals
Materials to accompany an application for registration
  • Proposed title
  • General explanation of the purpose
  • Full proposed text
Who determines the title of an initiative?
  • Agenda initiative - proponents of the initiative
  • Agenda initiative - legislature
What disqualifies a proposed title of an initiative?
  • Inconsistency with proposed content
  • Commercial statement
  • Discriminatory or inflammatory statements
  • More than one subject area
Who is responsible for checking the legality of initiatives?
  • Not specified by legislation
At which stage legality check is conducted?
  • Not specified by legislation
Who decides the final ballot text when the initiative is put to a vote?
    When does voting take place once an initiative is qualified for ballot?

      Question Value
      Which individuals/positions may be subject to the recall?
        What are the grounds for recall?
          What restrictions are there in relation to the time period in which an individual or position can be recalled?
            When is the recall put to the vote?
              When does the election to replace an individual who has been recalled take place?
                Can an individual who is the subject of a recall stand on the ballot for his/her own replacement?

                  Question Value
                  How many signatures are required to start the formal decision making stage of a direct democracy mechanism?
                  • Agenda Initiative - fixed number
                  What is the deadline for collecting required number of signatures?
                  • Agenda Initiative - fixed time period
                  Restrictions in relation to the individuals who can sign the proposal
                  • Agenda Initiative - signatories must be registered
                  Where can proposals be signed?
                  • Anywhere
                  • Electronically
                  What information must signatories provide when signing the proposal?
                  • Identity or voting card number
                  • Personal details
                  • A statement that the signatory has submitted only one statement of support for the initiative
                  Restrictions in relation to signature collection
                  • Not specified by legislation
                  What forms of checks are undertaken to verify signatures?
                  • All signatures are checked
                  Who checks the signatures?
                  • Agency responsible for the administration of direct democracy mechanisms