Finland is the living proof that nothing is forever, except the terrible winter and its high level of taxes.
Even the map of the different regions, which in other countries is commonly associated with strong identity feelings, can be changed and some municipalities moved to the adjacent region if they consider it convenient for their interest.
On 29 August, the Finnish Government decided to amend the country's division into regions following the proposals made by the municipalities themselves, according to a press release published by the Ministry of Finance.
“The main reason for changes in regions is connected to where the municipality’s services and commuting tend to be directed. In this way, the vitality of the municipality and the area can be supported in the best possible way. In addition, municipalities’ own proposals are naturally given weight. Because changes in regions have an effect on other regional divisions or cooperation agreements, the aim was to give a sufficient amount of time for preparations” says Minister of Local Government and Ownership Steering Sirpa Paatero.
The decision made by the Government means that as of 1 January 2021, the division into regions is amended as follows:
- The municipality of Heinävesi will move from the region of South Savo to the region of North Karelia.
- The municipality of Joroinen will move from the region of South Savo to the region of North Savo.
- The municipality of Iitti will move from the region of Kymenlaakso to the region of Päijät-Häme.
- The municipality of Kuhmoinen will move from the region of Central Finland to the region of Pirkanmaa.
- The municipality of Isokyrö will move from the region of Ostrobothnia to the region of South Ostrobothnia.
As concerns Heinävesi, Joroinen, Kuhmoinen and Isokyrö, the original proposal was connected to the regional administration reform of the previous government and municipalities maintained their proposal in force regardless of the expiry of the reform. The municipality of Iitti had earlier proposed its transfer and the proposal decided now was already initiated in 2015.
Due to the changes in the division into regions, preparations will also start for changing the regional divisions of the rescue services, the state local district division and the electoral district division of the Parliamentary elections.