Finland

 

Language: Finnish, Swedish
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Calling Code: 358

 

Description of Finland

Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a member country of the European Union since 1995 and located in northeastern Europe. It has borders to the west with Sweden, to the east with Russia and to the north with Norway. To the west and south it is surrounded by the Baltic Sea, which separates it from Sweden and Estonia, crossing the gulfs of Botnia and Finland, respectively. The most important capital and city of the country is Helsinki.

In 2017, Finland had a population of 5.5 million inhabitants in an area of ​​338 145 km² The vast majority of the country's population is concentrated in the extreme south, on the coast of the Gulf of Finland and its surroundings ( including the Metropolitan Area of ​​Helsinki). Finland is the sixth largest country in Europe and has a low population density of 16 inhabitants per km², which makes the country the first lowest population density in the European Union. Most Finns speak Finnish (or Finnish) as their mother tongue, which is one of the few official languages ​​of the European Union that do not descend from the Indo-European family. The second official language of Finland is Swedish, spoken as a mother tongue by 5.6% of the population.

Finland was part of Sweden until in 1809 it was annexed by the Russian Empire, becoming the Grand Duchy of Finland (an autonomous entity of Russia until 1917, when it gained independence). Currently, Finland is a democratic and parliamentary republic, and has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, as well as of the European Union since 1995. The Finnish economy is one of the most prosperous in Europe, based on the important service sectors, as well as as of manufacture. In the country there is a welfare state, as well as a highly democratic policy with extremely low levels of corruption.

 

Travel Destinations in Finland

Helsinki

 

 

Southern Finland

Mannerheim Line

 

Tavastia Proper
Forssa
Hämeenlinna
Riihimäki

 

Päijänne Tavastia
Heinola
Lahti
 

 

Uusimaa
East Uusimaa
Sipoo (Sibbo)
Loviisa (Lovisa)
Porvoo (Borgå)

Middle Uusimaa
Metropolitan area
Espoo (Esbo)
Vantaa (Vanda)
Kauniainen (Grankulla)
North from Helsinki metropolitan area
Järvenpää (Träskända)
Hyvinkää (Hyvinge)
Kerava (Kervo)
Sipoo (Sibbo)
Klaukkala

West Uusimaa
Kirkkonummi (Kyrkslätt)
Lohja (Lojo)
Raseborg (Raasepori)
Hanko (Hangö)
Nuuksio National Park
Lake Bodom
Ekenäs Archipelago National Park

 

Kymenlaakso
Kotka
Kouvola
Hamina

 

South Karelia
Imatra Lappeenranta

 

West Coast

Central Ostrobothnia
Kannus Kokkola

 

Ostrobothnia
Vasa / Vaasa
Jakobstad / Pietarsaari
Kaskö / Kaskinen
Kristinestad / Kristiinankaupunki
Nykarleby / Uusikaarlepyy
Närpes / Närpiö

 

Southern Ostrobothnia
Alajärvi
Alavus
Kauhajoki
Kauhava
Kurikka
Lapua
Seinäjoki
Ähtäri

 

Satakunta
Harjavalta
Huittinen
Kankaanpää
Kokemäki
Pori
Rauma
Ulvila

 

Finland Proper
Turku (Åbo)
Kaarina (S:t Karins)
Naantali (Nådendal)

 

Finnish Lakeland

North Savonia
Iisalmi
Juankoski
Kiuruvesi
Kuopio
Varkaus

 

North Karelia
Joensuu
Kitee
Lieksa
Nurmes
Outokumpu
Koli National Park
Patvinsuo National Park

 

Central Finland
Jyväskylä
Jämsä
Keuruu
Saarijärvi
Viitasaari
Äänekoski

 

South Savonia
Mikkeli
Pieksämäki
Savonlinna
Olavinlinna Castle

 

Pirkanmaa
Akaa
Ikaalinen
Mänttä-Vilppula
Nokia
Orivesi
Parkano
Sastamala
Tampere
Valkeakoski
Virrat
Ylöjärvi

 

Northern Finland

Finnish Lapland
Southeast
Rovaniemi
Kemijärvi
Pelkosenniemi
Posio
Ranua
Salla
Sea Lapland and Torne River Valley
Kemi
Keminmaa
Pello
Simo
Tervola
Tornio
Ylitornio

Northeast
Inari
Lemmenjoki National Park
Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park
Urho Kekkonen National Park

 

Kainuu and Eastern Oulu region
Kajaani
Kuhmo
Kuusamo
Pudasjärvi
Oulanka National Park
Kajaani Castle

 

Southern Oulu region
Haapajärvi
Haapavesi
Nivala
Oulainen
Pyhäjärvi
Ylivieska

 

Western Oulu region
Oulu
Kalajoki
Raahe
Hailuoto
Ii

 

Åland

Mariehamn

 

Etymology

The name of the country in Russian and many languages ​​​​comes from the Swedish Finland (“land of hunters” - from the Old Norse fin “hunter”, and the Swedish land - “land, country”). In the Ynglinga Saga (XIII century), written in Old Norse, the toponym Finnland is mentioned.

The Finnish name for the country is Suomi. For the first time it is mentioned on the pages of the Novgorod chronicles in the form of Sum (since the beginning of the 12th century).

There are several versions of the origin of this name:

It is assumed that once there was an area called Suomaa (Fin. suo "swamp", maa "land"; literally: "land of swamps"). Settlers from this area transferred the name of their homeland to southwestern Finland, which became known as Suomi.
Another version says that "Suomi" - a distorted "Saami" - is the self-name of the people who lived here before the arrival of the Finnish tribes.
There is also a version that the Finnish self-name suomi is of Estonian origin (from Estonian soo - “swamp”).

 

History

Ancient history
According to archaeological research, the first settlements on the territory of Finland appeared at the end of the ice age, that is, about 8500 BC. Inhabitants in Finland were hunters and gatherers using stone tools. The first pottery appeared in the 3rd millennium BC., when settlers from the East brought the culture of comb ceramics. The arrival of the battle ax culture on the southern coast of Finland in the 32 century BC coincided with the birth of agriculture. Despite this, hunting and fishing still remained an important part of the settlers' lives, especially in the northern and eastern parts of the country.

As part of Sweden (1150 / 1300-1809)
By the end of the Viking era, Swedish merchants and kings had spread their influence throughout the Baltic region.

For several centuries, Finland was ruled by Catholic and then Protestant Sweden, since 1595 having the name of the Grand Duchy of Finland.

March 1, 1753 throughout the duchy there was a transition from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar.

As part of the Russian Empire (1809-1917)
In 1807, Russia, under the terms of the Tilsit Peace, became an ally of the French Empire in the struggle against Great Britain and its allies. One of the allies of Great Britain was Sweden. Russia was obliged to force Sweden to join the so-called. “Continental blockade” - the blockade of the British Isles. Great Britain, in turn, suggested Sweden pay a million pounds for each month of the war, no matter how much it went, and also land a British expeditionary force in Sweden. King Gustav IV Adolf defiantly returned to Alexander the highest order of the Russian Empire granted to him, the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called. Gustav IV Adolf said that he could not wear the same order as Napoleon Bonaparte, as this humiliates him.

Since Russia’s diplomatic efforts have not yielded results, at the beginning of 1808 Russian troops launched an offensive in Southeast Finland and in the summer of that year, Alexander I announced the conquest of Finland. On March 15, 1809, the Russian emperor signed the Manifesto on the Finnish government, which preserved on its territory, in terms of internal affairs, the effect of Swedish law, which was announced the next day at the opening of the first estate meeting of representatives of the peoples of Finland, but hostilities continued interruptions until the summer of 1809 and ended with the conclusion on September 5 in Friedrichsham of peace between Russia and Sweden, according to which Sweden ceded Russia to Finland and part of Westerbotnia before Tornio and Muonio (modern community Tornio, Ylitornio, Pello, Kolari, Muonio and Enontekiö).

Beginning in the 1840s, during the reign of Nicholas I, the princedom began to carry out reforms in the field of education. From now on, teaching in Finnish was allowed in local schools. The highest permission was granted for the publication of religious, historical and economic literature in national languages. This policy was carried out under the emperor Alexander II. In 1858, the first lyceum appeared, where teaching was conducted in Finnish.

Since the 1860s, a steady cultural upsurge has taken place in the Grand Duchy, progressive forces of the local intelligentsia sought to give the Finnish language the status of the state language, which was done by Alexander II. In addition, the equality of Swedish and Finnish languages ​​in court and administration was recognized at the legislative level.

September 6 (18), 1861, the first issue of the Swedish newspaper Barometern was published. It was the first Swedish newspaper regularly published in the Russian Empire. Already in the first years of its publication, the Finnish Barometern becomes the “liberal ideal” of Swedish-speaking residents of the Governor-General.

In 1863, in Helsingfors, after a long break, the Finnish Diet was convened again. It was the beginning of the reforms that strengthened the autonomous status of the Grand Duchy of Finland.

The unpopular process of forced Russification, which began in 1899, only contributed to the intensification of the struggle for independence and instilled protest sentiments in the multinational society of Finland.

Revolution of 1917

In 1917, after the February Revolution and the fall of the autocracy in Russia, power passed to the Provisional Government, which went towards public opinion. In Finland, a manifesto was published that abolished all the integration measures carried out since 1899. The privileges of Finland lost after the 1905 revolution were renewed. A new governor general was appointed and a diet was convened. However, after the Sejm unilaterally declared Finland independent in internal affairs, by a decision of the Provisional Government of Russia of July 18, 1917, the law on restoring the autonomous rights of Finland, which was approved by the Sejm, was rejected, the sejm was dissolved, and its building was occupied by Russian troops, however located in Veliky In the Principality, parts of the Russian army no longer had control over the situation. The police were disbanded and ceased to maintain order, resulting in unrest in the country. In general, by the summer of 1917, the idea of ​​independence was widely spread.

The October Revolution of 1917, which overthrew the Provisional Government, allowed the Finnish Senate to sign the Declaration of Independence of Finland on December 4, 1917, which was approved by parliament on December 6. Thus, the independence of Finland was proclaimed, which was simultaneously declared a republic (Republic of Finland).

On December 18, 1917, by the Decree of the Council of People's Commissars of the RSFSR, it was proposed "to recognize the state independence of the Republic of Finland."

Independent Finland (since 1917)
In December 1917 - January 1918, the struggle between the "Reds", supported by the Russian Soviet Republic, and the Shyutskor ("guard units") intensified, an amateur fighting organization that first arose in the 1905 revolution (the "Union of Forces"), banned in 1909 by the Russian government and revived in 1917 on the same principles, but under a new name. This confrontation grew into a revolution and civil war. During the revolution, the “Reds" proclaimed the Revolutionary Government of Finland, which took the name of the Council of People's Commissioners of Finland, which was supported by the Russian Soviet Republic. The Council of People's Commissioners of Finland controlled the southern territory of the republic. The rest of the territory was under the control of the former Finland Senate. This side is called “white” (“white finns”). The backbone of her future army was made up of representatives of the Shyutskor. The whites were supported by Kaiser Germany, which sent its troops to Finland (after the end of the civil war they were left in Finland).

During the 108 days of the civil war in Finland, about 35,000 people died. Even after its end, the White Terror against the Social Democrats and those supporting them did not stop. In total, over 80 thousand suspects of sympathy for the left were arrested, of whom 75 thousand were imprisoned in concentration camps. Due to torture and anti-human conditions, 13,500 people (15%) died, in addition to 7370 directly executed.

As a result of the civil war of 1918 and carried out by the victorious forces of the Finnish "white" political repressions, a ruling majority was formed in the Finnish parliament, which excluded the participation of left-wing factions. In the parliament convened in May 1918, out of 92 Social Democratic deputies, 40 were hiding in Russia, and about 50 were arrested. 97 right-wing deputies and only one Social Democrat Matti Paasivuori arrived at the first meeting. Parliament received the nickname "parliament-stump" (Fin. Tynkäeduskunta). The maximum number of deputies was 111, with 200 laid down. Due to incomplete representation, parliamentary decisions were particularly controversial.

Among the deputies of the parliament, monarchical ideas were especially popular, a monarchical form of government was widespread in Europe, the legislation of Finland inherited from the Swedish period was also assumed. As a result, on October 9, 1918, Finland was declared a kingdom (Finnish. Suomen kuningaskuntahanke, literally: “Project of the Kingdom of Finland”), and the husband of the sister of the German Emperor Wilhelm II, Prince of Hesse Friedrich Karl (Fredrik Kararle in Finnish transcription) was elected king.

However, just a month later, a revolution took place in Germany, the German emperor Wilhelm II left power and fled the country, and on November 11, 1918, the Compiegne Peace Agreement was signed, ending the First World War, in which Germany lost. German influence in Finland weakened, and the elected king in Finland never arrived and was forced to abdicate. On December 16, German troops departed for their homeland.

 

The state at that time was led by regents. While waiting for the arrival of the elected king, the regent was the current actual head of state, Chairman of the Senate (Government of Finland), Per Ewind Svinhuvud. Following the abdication of the elected king from the throne on December 12, 1918, Swinhuvud announced his resignation to the parliament as regent. On the same day, parliament approved the resignation and elected General Mannerheim as the new regent of Finland. But legally Finland remained a kingdom. During the Mannerheim Regency, there was an active discussion about the future state system. The government submitted two draft amendments to the parliament for the republic and two for the monarchy. Legislative changes in the form of government took place on July 17, 1919 after the election of a new parliament in March 1919. The uncertainty that lasted a year and a half ended, and the monarchical period, which lasted centuries, also. Finland has become a republic. On July 25, 1919, the first presidential elections in Finland were held. They became Kaarlo Juho Stolberg.

The civil war unfolded in Finland and throughout Russia. Moreover, the actions of the Finnish “whites” and “reds” were not limited to the territory of Finland. On February 23, 1918, while at the station of Antrea, turning to the troops, the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Army General Gustav Mannerheim pronounced “the oath of the sword”, in which he stated that “he would not put his sword into the scabbard before the last warrior and hooligan of Lenin was expelled as from Finland and from East Karelia. ” At the end of March 1918, units of the Finnish “whites” entered North Karelia. Local self-government was organized there under the leadership of pro-minded supporters of the independence of Karelia. After the end of the civil war in Finland in May 1918, Finnish "white" units advanced to occupy East Karelia and the Kola Peninsula. As a result, the civil war in Finland gradually grew into a civil war in Karelia, called the First Soviet-Finnish War.

In the north, the troops of Finland were opposed by the forces of the Entente, which landed in Murmansk in March 1918, in agreement with the Bolshevik government, "to protect Murmansk and the railway from the possible offensive of the German-Finnish troops." Of the Finnish Red Guards who retreated to the east to act against the White Finns associated with the Germans, on June 7, 1918, the British formed the Murmansk Legion, led by Oscari Tokoy. Simultaneously with the Murmansk Legion, the Karelian Legion (“Karelian Squad”) was created in Kem under the command of Iivo Ahab.

On October 15, 1918, the Finns occupied the Rebolsky volost in East Karelia.

On December 30, 1918, Finnish troops under the command of General Vetzer landed in Estonia, where they assisted the Estonian government in the fight against the Bolshevik troops, which continued during the Civil War in Russia. The First Soviet-Finnish War ended on October 14, 1920, when the Tartu Peace Treaty was signed, fixing a number of territorial concessions on the part of Soviet Russia (at that time the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic - RSFSR).

Subsequently, already on November 6, 1921, the Second Soviet-Finnish War began on the invasion of Finnish troops in East Karelia. Finland decided to support the uprising of the Eastern Karelians, which was raised as a result of the vigorous actions of Finnish activist agitators who have been active in East Karelia since the summer of 1921, as well as about 500 Finnish military men who performed various command functions among the rebels. Units of the Red Finns who emigrated to the RSFSR after the civil war in Finland, in particular, the ski battalion of the Petrograd International Military School (the commander of the battalion Toivo Antikainen), took part in the rout of the Belofin troops. The Second Soviet-Finnish War ended on March 21, 1922 by the signing in Moscow of the Agreement between the governments of the RSFSR and Finland on taking measures to ensure the inviolability of the Soviet-Finnish border.

In the winter of 1939, the Soviet Union launched the Third Soviet-Finnish War. On December 1, 1939, in Terioki, on the part of the territory of the Karelian Isthmus occupied by Soviet troops, the creation of the Finnish Democratic Republic, a puppet state headed by the communist Otto Kuusinen, was proclaimed. On March 12, 1940, the Treaty of Friendship and Mutual Assistance was concluded between the USSR and the FDR. As a result of several months of bloody battles, Finland lost part of its territory, but the country managed to maintain independence.

 

After a short peace in 1941, Finland entered the Second World War on the side of the “axis” countries. In the summer of 1944, the Finns went to the conclusion of peace, after which Finland fought against the German armed forces in Finnish Lapland until the spring of 1945. In the postwar years, weakened Finland took a new course in its relations with the Soviet Union.

In 1952, the Summer Olympic Games were held in Finland in Helsinki.

In 1956, Urho Kekkonen was elected President of Finland. The 25 years of his presidency (1956-1981) were characterized by smart balanced actions: Kekkonen had a good command of the internal situation in the country; he also managed to strengthen relations with the Scandinavian countries, while not moving away from the USSR.

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 coincided with the difficult economic downturn for Finland. At the end of 1995, Finland joined the European Union.

 

Geographical position

Finland is located in the north of Europe, a significant part of its territory is located beyond the Arctic Circle (25%). On land, it borders on Sweden (the border is 586 km), Norway (the border is 716 km) and Russia (the border is 1265 km), the sea border with Estonia runs along the Gulf of Finland, with Sweden - in some places of the Gulf of Bothnia of the Baltic Sea.

The length of the outer coastline (excluding sinuosity) is 1100 km. The length of the coastline (excluding islands) is 46,000 km. In the coastal zone there are almost 81,000 islands (over 100 m² in size).

The country is divided into three main geographical regions.

Coastal lowlands - they stretch along the Gulf of Finland and the Gulf of Bothnia, along the coasts of which there are thousands of rocky islands; the main archipelagos are the Aland Islands and the Turku archipelago. On the southwestern coast, a heavily dissected coast develops into the largest archipelago in Finland - the Archipelago Sea - with many islands of various sizes.

The Lake District is an inland plateau south of the center of the country with dense forests and a large number of lakes, marshes and marshes.

The northern upper reaches, most of which are located beyond the Arctic Circle. They differ in rather poor soils. Rocky mountains and small hills are also characteristic of Lapland. In the same place, in the western part of Lapland, is the highest point in Finland (1324 meters above sea level) - it is located on the slope of the Halti hill. Contrary to popular belief, this point is not the top of the hill (the peak of Halti has a height of 1365 m and is located in Norway). Previously, in reference books, the value of 1328 m was indicated as the highest point in Finland; later it was determined that the Halti slope, which has such a height, is also located on the territory of Norway, while the highest point on the Finnish slope is at an altitude of 1324 m.

Timezone
Before the advent of railways, there was no single time in Finland. With the start of construction in 1868 of the railway link St. Petersburg - Helsingfors (the movement was opened personally by Emperor Alexander II on September 12, 1870), Helsinki time was in effect to the west of Kaipiainen station (near Kouvola), and St. Petersburg time to the east (the difference was 20 minutes) . In 1888, Emperor Alexander III introduced Helsinki time on all railways of the Grand Duchy of Finland by his decree.

In 1921, Finland introduced standard time. Currently, the entire territory of the country is in the time zone, designated according to the international standard as UTC + 2 - Eastern European Time (EET). The offset from UTC is +2:00 (standard time) and +3:00 (summer time) - the country has a seasonal clock change. Time in Finland differs from Moscow time by −1 hour in winter and coincides in summer. The same time as in Finland is used by the Baltic countries - Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia; it differs from Central European time by +1 hour.

In 1942, daylight saving time was introduced for the first time in the country for a short period, and since 1981, daylight saving time has been regularly changed in Finland. Since 1996, the transition to daylight saving time is carried out on the last Sunday of March (by moving the clock forward 1 hour), and the reverse transition takes place on the last Sunday in October (by 1 hour back). The abolition of daylight saving time does not find wide support in Finland.

Since 2002, according to the European Union Directive (2000/84/EC), in Finland, as in other countries of the Union, the transition to daylight saving time is carried out at 1 am GMT.

 

Climate

Finland has a temperate climate, transitional from maritime to continental, depending on the random direction of the air currents. The location to the west of the Gulf Stream affects the climate of Finland and increases the temperature of the Finnish winter - it is higher than in other regions of the same latitude of the zone. The temperature increase due to the Gulf Stream is about 6-11 °C.

During the year, the country is dominated by westerly winds with frequent cyclones. According to a study conducted by the University of Eastern Finland and the Meteorological Institute, over the past 166 years, the temperature increase in Finland has averaged 2.3 degrees.

Winters are moderately cold. Despite the fact that in the northern part of the country the polar night dominates in winter (in Utsjoki its duration is two months), in the southern regions the sun shines from 48 (winter 1987/88) to 195 hours (winter 1996/97).

Rainfall in Finland varies greatly from region to region. The least precipitation is in Lapland and on the coast of Ostrobothnia, where the annual rainfall is about 40 cm. On the coast of Ostrobothnia, snowstorms, among other things, influence the low amount of precipitation. It is the wettest in eastern and southeastern Finland, where the annual rainfall is about 70 cm. The southwestern and southern coasts also receive about 70 cm of precipitation per year. The wettest month in Southern Finland is August, when the average rainfall is around 70mm. In the southern part of Finland, in contrast to the northern regions, the wettest time extends far into autumn, and not only in August. While Oulu County and Lapland are already fairly dry in November, southern Finland typically receives an average of 70mm of rainfall. Rain can form in Finland in different ways. The most typical are convection precipitation in the form of heavy rains and thunderstorms due to evaporation from soil and vegetation in summer, frontal precipitation caused by temperature differences during the collision of cold and warm air masses, and precipitation with low Atlantic pressure, most of which comes in the form of drizzle.

The thickness of the snow cover at the end of December averages 40 cm in the north of the country, about 30 cm in the central regions and 10 cm in the south of the country. The snowiest Decembers were 1915, 1965, 1973, 1980, 1981 and 2010. According to the Finnish Meteorological Center, the average number of summer days marked by hail is 40, and in 2010, hailstones 8 cm in diameter were recorded in Sastamala.

The average temperature in February in southern Finland is -6 °C, in Lapland -14 °C. In July, respectively, - +17 in the south and up to +14 in the north. The average number of hot days in June (with temperatures from + 25.1 to + 30 ° C, which is considered the heat limit for Finland) is 8 days. The hottest years (38 consecutive days with temperatures above +25.1 °C) were 1973 and 2014. 2020 was the warmest year in Finland in the history of meteorological measurements.

The lowest temperature in Finland (as of February 14, 2011) was observed on January 28, 1999 in the community of Kittila (Lappi): -51.5 ° C, the highest - on July 29, 2010 in the community of Liperi (North Karelia): + 37.2°C.

Geological structure
Most of Finland is lowland, but in the northeast some mountains reach heights of over 1000 meters. The highest point of the country is the slope of the mountain (fjeld) Halti (1324 m), located in Lappi in the Scandinavian mountains, near the border with Norway.

Finland is located on an ancient (1.4-3 billion years) granite crystalline shield, extending under the whole of Scandinavia and the Kola Peninsula. The Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia are also on this shield, and are essentially a lake that formed during the Ice Age. The thickness of the ice reached 3 km, which caused a deflection of the earth's crust up to 1 km. After the glacier melted, a reverse process began, which continues at the present time. The rate of rise is maximum in the north of the Gulf of Bothnia - about 90 cm per century. In some places, steel rings embedded in granite for tying ships have been preserved, but at present they are located hundreds of meters from the coast.

According to existing estimates, on average, about 7 meters of bedrock were “ripped off” during the glaciers’ meltdown, at present 3% of the country’s territory is open granite and 11% is hidden under a layer of soil less than 1 meter thick. Most of the bedrock is hidden by the resulting sediments up to several tens of meters thick. The traces of the glacier are visible, for example, in the complex system of lakes and in the huge boulders found throughout the country. 52% of the bedrock are various varieties of granite, 22% are mixed rocks, 9% are layered rocks, 8% are diabases, 4% are quartz and sand, 4% are granulites, 0.1% are limestones (the oldest in Europe ).

Every year, ten to twenty weak tremors are recorded in the country. Earthquakes of magnitude greater than four on the Richter scale were recorded in Tornio in 1898 and in the northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia on March 20, 2016.

 

Hydrography

Almost all rivers in Finland flow into the Baltic Sea, with the exception of a small number of rivers in the north of the country that flow into the Arctic Ocean.

Often referred to as the "land of a thousand lakes", Finland has about 190,000 lakes covering 9% of its area. Usually lakes abound with numerous bays, peninsulas and islands, interconnected by channels and form branched lake systems. Small lakes with average depths of 5–20 m predominate. However, within the Lake Plateau, located in central Finland, there are quite large and deep reservoirs. Thus, the depth of Lake Päijänne reaches 93 meters. The largest lake in the country is Saimaa, located in the southeast of the country. To the north of the Lake Plateau there is a large lake Oulujärvi, and in the north of the province of Lappi there is a large lake Inarijärvi.

The number of rivers in Finland reaches 2000. They abound in rapids and waterfalls. Most of the rivers are short and connect the lakes with each other or flow from the lakes into the sea. The largest rivers - Kemijoki, Oulujoki and Tornionjoki - flow in the north. The Kemijoki River has the most extensive network of tributaries.

There are also 36 channels with 48 gateways in the country. The canals are mostly small and connect the country's rivers and lakes, sometimes bypassing waterfalls. The most important is the Saimaa Canal, which partially passes through the Leningrad Region and connects Lake Saimaa with the Gulf of Finland.

30% of the country's territory is marshland.

 

Flora and fauna

As of June 2015, there are 39 national parks in the country (on the right you can see their location on the map of Finland) - territories inhabited by rare or valuable species of animals and / or plants, there are landscape features, there are unique natural objects. Their total area exceeds eight thousand square kilometers. Based on the “right of every person to nature”, defined by Finnish law (Fin. Jokamiehenoikeus), anyone can freely and freely be in the territory of national parks. By the way, the Finnish Archipelago National Park, along with the Oulanka National Park, is included in the list of the European park protection organization PAN Parks.

However, hunting in protected areas is strictly prohibited and punishable by law, and making fires in national parks is allowed only in specially designated places. In addition, in these areas it is impossible to cut trees and litter. Often, national parks have special sites for overnight stays, and some may even rent out houses.

Among the activities in the national parks of Finland are canoeing, kayaking on river rapids, snowshoeing. There are a large number of mountain bike routes, as well as routes for riding snowmobiles. Mountain climbing and skiing are widespread.

Also, "the right of everyone to nature" determines that everyone can move freely in any territory, except for cultivated agricultural land and land directly adjacent to residential buildings. If there is no direct threat to life, that is, at temperatures above zero, it is prohibited to use open fire (making fires) without the permission of the owner of the land. Gas burners and other similar heating appliances are not classified as open flames. Throughout Finland there are so-called. "shelters" (fin. laavu), where, as a rule, there is a shelter from the rain, a fire pit, and there is also firewood for making a fire.

Since 2012 (on the first Sunday of August), the country has been hosting an annual day of open gardens, during which everyone can get acquainted with the achievements of crop production both in public and private farms. On August 31, the country celebrates Finnish Nature Day.

Flora
When moving from the south of Finland to the north, the landscapes of the sea coast with a huge number of small islands and rocks are replaced by dense coniferous (mostly pine) forests covering the central part of the country. The total forest area is 20 million hectares (about 60% of the country's territory). The forests are rich in blueberries, raspberries, lingonberries, cranberries, as well as mushrooms - porcini, boletus, boletus, chanterelles, hornworts and others. Some years are fruitful for matsutake mushroom. In the north there are hills of Lapland, almost devoid of tree vegetation, overgrown with thickets of cloudberries. In connection with climate warming, both local broad-leaved species (maple, linden, oak) and introduced species in some cases are becoming more widespread in southern Finland. For example, there is a possibility of a wider spread of beech in the coastal areas of southern Finland.

Among spring primroses, coltsfoot, noble liverwort and others are common.

A number of invasive plant species such as Mantegazzi hogweed, ferruginous impatiens, multi-leaved lupine and a number of others threaten the biodiversity of Finnish nature.

 

Fauna

The symbol of Finland is the whooper swan (as of November 2012, there were 55-60 thousand of them). Eiders, gray herons, mergansers, crested ducks, divers, black-headed and herring gulls, fieldfares, finches, white wagtails, lapwings, field larks, starlings, cranes, and tundra partridges are also common among birds. A number of birds of prey (osprey, etc.) are rare. Global warming affects birds and leads to the fact that the territory of their distribution, as well as the time of nesting and migration, is changing. Waterfowl are increasingly wintering in Finland, and many species stay in the country longer in autumn. Every third bird species in Finland is endangered (many species of waders and ducks). BirdLife Suomi and the EuroBirdwatch event held in the fall draw people's attention to autumn migration and the protection of rare birds.

The only endemic mammal in Finland is the endangered Saimaa seal (about 300 in 2013). Also on the verge of extinction are arctic foxes, wolverines, wolves (for 2017, about 150-180 individuals united in 8 families (also 11 families migrate between Finland and Russia)), Natterer's night bats, forest bats and forest ferrets. Populations of the common beaver, brown bear (about 1.5 thousand individuals in 2014), lynx, white-tailed eagles and common flying squirrels restored their population by 2015 and were excluded from the category of rare species.

The moose population is about 73 thousand heads. In 2013, there was a decrease in the total number of reindeer.

Of the reptiles, the common viper is common; from crustaceans - river and introduction spotted crayfish, which are of commercial importance within the country.

The reservoirs are rich in smelt, roach, vendace and other fish species. The 2010s were marked by the appearance on the territory of Finland of a number of invasive animal breeds - slugs Arion vulgaris, American mink; fish - silver carp, round goby, whitefin minnow (Lake Saimaa), "Russian salmon" (in 2013 in the Tenoyoki River). It is noted that hedgehogs, rabbits, squirrels and foxes have become habitual inhabitants of Finnish cities. Nesting nesting sites of the protected flying squirrel have been observed in the city parks and forest areas of Helsinki.

Evira's food safety department annually conducts spring vaccination of wild predatory mammals in the border areas with Finland, in order to prevent the penetration of diseases into the country.

Since 2013, the position of the Commissioner for Animal Affairs has been established, whose competence includes: improving the welfare of animals in Finnish society, making initiatives and proposals, as well as commenting on issues related to animal rights. The law obliges citizens of the country to report animals in distress.

 

Ecology

Finland is one of the countries with the best state of the environment. The issue of tightening the wording in the criminal code in the field of environmental crimes is being considered.

One of the urgent environmental problems in the country is soil acidification and atmospheric warming due to the impact of natural fuels. These problems are recognized as international, and Finland is solving them together with other countries of the European Union. Thus, according to the EU resolution on reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere by 2030 by 40% from the level of 1990, Finland intends to reduce emissions by up to 50%.

 

Population

As of February 1, 2022, the population of Finland was 5,550,066, according to the Statistics Centre. For many years, the birth rate in the country has been inferior to the death rate, however, there has been an increase in the population, which is due to immigration. In December 2015, for the first time since the 1990s, there was a decrease in the number of Finns in the country (by 704 people or 0.01%) and an increase of 7% in the number of foreigners. 2016 marked the lowest birth rate in the history of the country since 1917.

The age structure of the population of Finland as of 2020: 0-14 years old - 16.41%; 15-64 years old - 61.33%; 65 years and older - 22.26%. The average age of the population of Finland as of 2020: the entire population is 42.8 years; men - 41.3 years; women - 44.4 years. The ratio of the number of men and women: the entire population - 0.97 (2020). Life expectancy of the population of Finland as of 2021: total - 81.55 years; men - 78.63 years; women - 84.6 years. The population growth rate of Finland as of 2021 is 0.26% per year. As of 2021, the birth rate was 10.49 newborns per 1,000 inhabitants (184th in the world). The total fertility rate (TFR) is 1.74 births per woman. Due to the demographic aging of the population, the death rate is steadily increasing; as of 2021, the death rate was 10.33 deaths per 1,000 people (30th in the world). The level of net migration to Finland was 2.46 migrants per 1,000 inhabitants (42nd in the world). As of 2019, the average age of a woman at first birth in Finland was 29.4 years (for comparison, in the Republic of Korea - the country with the lowest TFR in the world - 0.84 births per woman in 2020, the average age of a woman at first childbirth in 2019 was 32.2 years). As of 2021, 85.6% of Finland's population lived in cities.

According to a study conducted in 2013 by the University of Oulu and the Finnish Environment Center, 70% of Finns live in cities or municipalities surrounding cities, which cover only 5% of Finland.

Finland population density
Since the beginning of 2020, the population growth amounted to 10,854 people, the growth was only due to immigration (the natural population decline was −9,025 people).

In 2021, there were 296,464 people living in Finland who had the citizenship of a country other than Finland. 51,805 people of which are Estonian citizens and 30,049 people are Russian citizens, 15,075 people from Iraq, 11,405 people from China, 8,245 people from India, 7,925 people from Thailand, 7,921 people from Sweden, 7,686 people from Afghanistan, 7,237 people from Vietnam, 7,203 people from Syria, 7,202 people from Ukraine, 134,711 people from other countries of the world. The most common nationalities that received Finnish citizenship in 2020 were Russians (1,546 people), Iraqis (602 people), Somalis (541 people), Estonians (516 people), Thais (304 people), Afghans (264 people), Ukrainians (220 people), Syrians (205 people), Swedes (196 people), Indians (181 people), other nationalities (3,241 people).

According to a survey conducted in 2013 by Helsingin Sanomat, 52% of Finns believe that the arrival of immigrants in the country should be limited (in 2011 there were 46% of such people).

From January to June 2013, 1,400 asylum-seekers arrived in the country (according to the number of asylum seekers, immigrants from Iraq are in the first place, in the second - Russia, and in the third - Afghanistan). There are also 700 people in the country who have received a deportation decision.

The largest national minorities in Finland are Karelians, Finnish Swedes (about 291,000), Gypsies, Finnish Jews, Finnish Tatars and Saami. Despite the fact that there are more than 70 thousand Russian-speaking residents in Finland, this group is not officially recognized as a national minority. The Russian-speaking population of Finland consists of a large number of different groups - from Russian-speaking residents of Estonia who moved to Finland, to business emigrants and specialists in various industries from St. Petersburg.

The largest Russian-speaking group are the Ingrian Finns and their descendants. The majority of Russian-speaking residents of Finland also speak Finnish. There are no regions in Finland with a compact Russian-speaking population.

The active integration policy pursued in the country in relation to foreigners, however, does not relieve the signs of racism observed at the everyday level, discrimination in the workplace, and the spread of rumors in social networks about crime among foreigners. A study conducted in 2014 among schoolchildren in 38 countries found that Finnish boys have the most negative attitude towards immigrants. At the end of 2021, there were 442,290 foreign-born people living in Finland, which is 7.97% of the country's total population.

 

Languages

Until 1809 Swedish was the sole official language of the Duchy of Finland. After the accession of the territory of Finland to the Russian Empire, Russian was added as an official language to Swedish, and after the issuance of an imperial decree of August 1, 1863, three languages ​​became official in the Grand Duchy of Finland until 1917 - Swedish, Finnish and Russian.

From 1864 to 1903, the names of streets and official institutions were duplicated in the following order: in Swedish, in Finnish and in Russian, and from 1903 to 1917 in Russian, in Finnish and in Swedish. After Finland gained independence, according to a special law adopted in 1922, the use of two official languages, Finnish and Swedish, has been preserved in the country to this day.

An initiative announced in 2011-2012 by six municipalities in Eastern Finland – Tohmajärvi, Imatra, Lappeenranta, Puumala, Mikkeli and Savonlinna – who applied for a 5-year pilot project in which it would be possible to replace the study of Swedish with the study of Russian in the schools of these municipalities , starting from the 7th grade, did not find support in the government and was not approved by the Ministry of Education.

In 1992, the “Law on the Sami Language” came into force in Finland, according to which the Sami language has a special status in the country: in particular, those decisions of the Parliament, decrees and government regulations that relate to Sami issues must also be translated into the Sami language . From December 2013, Finland's national broadcaster Yle started broadcasting TV news in Sami; broadcast from a television studio in Inari.

In the 2010s, there was an increase in interest in learning the Finnish language among students of European universities.

As of 2021, 86.5% (4,800,243 people) of the population of Finland speak Finnish, 5.2% (287,933 people) of the population speak Swedish, 0.04% (2,023 people) of the population speaks Sami, and other languages ​​are spoken by 8.3% (458,042 people) of the population. In Russian - 1.6% (87,552 people), in Estonian - 0.9% (50,232 people). Other languages ​​are spoken by 5.8% of the population of Finland, in particular: Arabic - 0.7% (36,466 people); in English - 0.5% (25,638 people); in Somali - 0.4% (23,656 people); in Persian - 0.3% (16,432 people); in Kurdish - 0.3% (15,850 people); in Chinese - 0.3% (14,780 people); in Albanian - 0.2% (13,830 people); in Vietnamese - 0.2% (12,310 people), etc.

 

Religions

Statistical data classify Finland as one of the countries with the least religiosity of its inhabitants, although according to the Constitution of Finland, the Evangelical Lutheran, as well as the Orthodox, have the status of state churches. Representatives of the churches themselves use the concept of "national church", and not the state. Relations between church and state are regulated by special agreements, and the activities of the churches themselves are regulated by special legislation. The state church has the right to a special church tax (collected with the help of state tax structures on the basis of the voluntary entry of citizens into one or another church structure).

In 2014, 74.0% of the country's population belonged to the Lutheran church, about 1% to the Orthodox. In 2009, 1.4% belonged to other church denominations, and 19.2% of the inhabitants had no religious affiliation. Among the Lutherans of Finland, a fairly large percentage are Laestadians.

In 2013, there were 304 communities of Jehovah's Witnesses in the country, in which about 19 thousand people were registered, and more than 26 thousand adherents of the organization attended the meetings. Since 1985, by a special amendment in the legislation, male adherents have been exempted from military duty in the armed forces of the country, but currently (2018) the issue of its abolition is being considered. In 2014, at the request of the Society for the Support of Victims of Religion, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Justice of Finland conducted a series of ministerial checks on the legality of the activities of the legal committees of Jehovah's Witnesses.

In 2013, about 50,000 Muslims lived in Finland, most of whom were immigrants and their children. In 2016, the number of Muslims in Finland outnumbered the Orthodox for the first time. There are more than 40 Muslim prayer rooms in the country, and the construction of the first mosque in Helsinki is planned.

Since the second quarter of the 19th century, a Finnish Jewish community has also formed in the country with functioning synagogues in Turku and Helsinki.

Studies in 2015 note an increase in extremist sentiments among students in Finnish lyceums and schools in the form of hatred or intolerance, based, among other things, on religious ideology. Since 2016, the Radinet project has been operating on the de-radicalization of society.

In 2021, 66.6% of the population of Finland belonged to the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Orthodox were 1.1%, adherents of another religion were 1.8%, non-religious - 30.6%.

 

State structure and politics

State structure
Finland is a unitary state with one partial autonomy (Aland Islands).

Form of government
According to the form of government, Finland is a republic. The highest executive power in the country belongs to the president, who is elected for a six-year term by direct popular vote.

Political structure
According to the constitution, legislative power belongs to the president and Eduskunte, the country's parliament, and executive power, to the president and the State Council. All these power structures are located in the capital.

Legislature
Eduskunta is the unicameral parliament of the country, consisting of 200 deputies. Deputies are elected by popular vote for a term of 4 years.

Parliament in Finland elects the government - the State Council, makes decisions on the state budget, approves international agreements. Deputies have the right to submit bills on their own behalf or on behalf of the party. In addition, parliamentarians accept for consideration the bills supported in the course of the so-called civil initiative, for which it is necessary to collect at least 50,000 signatures of the country's citizens.

In April 2019, regular parliamentary elections were held in Finland.

executive branch
The executive power in the country is exercised by the State Council (valtioneuvosto), which includes the prime minister and the required number of ministers, no more than 18. The prime minister is chosen by the Eduskunta and then formally approved by the president. The President of the country appoints other ministers in accordance with the recommendations of the Prime Minister. The government, together with the prime minister, resigns after each parliamentary election, as well as by decision of the president of the country in case of loss of confidence in the parliament, by personal statement and in some other cases.

Judicial branch
The Finnish judiciary is divided into a court dealing with ordinary civil and criminal cases, and an administrative court in charge of cases between the people and the administrative bodies of the state. Finnish laws are based on Swedish, and more broadly, on civil law and Roman law. The judiciary is made up of local courts, regional courts of appeal and a high court. The administrative branch consists of regional administrative courts (alueelliset hallinto-oikeudet) (until 1999 - provincial administrative courts (Lääninoikeus)) and the Supreme Administrative Court (Korkein hallinto-oikeus). Elected for a six-year term by direct popular vote. The highest court is the Supreme Court of Finland (Korkein oikeus), the courts of appeal are court courts (Hovioikeus), the courts of first instance are courts of Things (Käräjäoikeus) (until 1993 - county courts (Kihlakunnanoikeus)), the body for the trial of officials - The Supreme Court (Valtakunnanoikeus), the supreme body of prosecutorial supervision is the Chancellor of Justice (Oikeuskansleri).

 

Administrative-territorial division

The territory of Finland is divided into regions (Finnish maakunnat/Swedish landskap), regions into cities (Finnish kaupunki/Swedish stad) and communes (Finnish kunta/Swedish kommun) (Due to mergers, their number is reduced almost every year. In 2010 there were 342), in 2011 there are 336, large cities into urban parts (Fin. kaupunginosa/Swed. stadsdel).

The regions are governed by regional government agencies (Finnish aluehallintovirasto/Swedish regionförvaltningsverk).

Representative bodies of cities - city councils (Fin. kaupunginhallitus / Swedish stadsfullmäktige), elected by the population, executive bodies of cities - city boards (Fin. kaupunginhallitus / Swedish stadsstyrelse) (until 1978 - magistrate (Finnish maistraatti / Swedish magistrat), consisting of a communal burgomaster (Fin. kunnallispormestari/Swedish kommunalborgmästare) and ratmans (Finnish neuvosmies/Swedish rådman)), headed by burgomasters (Finnish pormestari/Swedish borgmästare) or city directors (Finnish kaupunginjohtaja/Swedish stadtdirektör ).

The representative bodies of the communes are communal councils (Fin. kunnanvaltuusto/Swedish kommunalfullmäktige, earlier in small communes - communal assembly - Finnish kuntakokous/Swedish Kommunalstämma), elected by the population, the executive bodies of the communes are communal boards (Finnish kunnanhallitus/Swedish kommunstyrelse) , headed by burgomasters (Fin. pormestari/Swedish borgmästare) or communal directors (Finnish kunnanjohtaja/Swedish kommundirektör).

The communes are grouped into 19 provinces/regions/regions (fin. maakunta or fin. provinssi / swed. provins) governed by regional councils. The activities of the provincial authorities, their powers, relations with the central government and the bodies of the European Union are regulated by Law No. 602 "On Regional Development" of July 12, 2002.

Until 2010, the country's territory was divided into provinces (lyani), which were ruled by provincial boards (fin. lääninhallitus) headed by governors (fin. maaherra) appointed by the president.

In addition, communes within provinces can unite into sub-provinces (Finnish seutukunta / Swedish ekonomisk region) used for police purposes and for the collection of statistics. Their number is also declining and since 2011 is 70 (67 in mainland Finland and 3 in the Åland Islands). There are no nationwide laws governing activities at the sub-provincial level.

Part of the territory of Finland, mainly in skerry areas, is used by the navy and is closed to the public.

 

Political parties

There are also other parties - Change 2011, Communist Party of Finland, Freedom Party - The Future of Finland (moderate right), Pirate Party, "Poor" (social Christian), Patriotic People's Movement (far right), Finnish Workers' Party (ultra left, communist ), the Independence Party (Eurosceptics), the Finnish Party of the Elderly, the Communist Party of Workers - For Peace and Socialism. The Åland Islands have a special autonomous status, in connection with which they have their own political parties, for example, the separatist Future of Åland.

Unions
The largest trade union center is the Central Organization of Trade Unions of Finland (Suomen Ammattiliittojen Keskusjärjestö).

Foreign policy
In 2015, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland planned to close the embassies in Luxembourg, Slovakia and Slovenia, and the temporary representation of Finland in Lebanon was transformed into an embassy. By the beginning of 2016, Finland was represented by representative offices in 89 foreign countries.

Armed forces
The Finnish Defense Forces consist of regular employees (8.7 thousand professionals), as well as conscripts (in January and July, about 12 thousand recruits are called up, including 250-300 women). The entire structure is subordinate to the commander of the defense forces, who, in turn, is accountable to the president of the republic. Since August 1, 2014, the commander of the Finnish Defense Forces has been Lieutenant General Jarmo Lindberg. The budget of the Finnish Defense Forces is just under 3 billion euros per year. In 2014, the armed forces consisted of 31 general positions, of which by 2015, due to a general reduction in personnel, 28 remained.

After the Second World War, Finland stably adhered to the non-bloc status. The question of joining NATO in Finland is periodically raised by right-wing forces. In 2022, the country's leadership seriously thought about the prospect of joining NATO after the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. At the moment, a program of military cooperation is being implemented with many countries that are members of the NATO bloc.

Since the population of the entire country is slightly more than 5.5 million people, for the most part, the equipment of the Finnish Armed Forces is draft. All Finnish male citizens between the ages of 18 and 30 who are deemed fit are subject to conscription either for military or alternative service. The term of service is six to 12 months (alternative non-military service). In recent years, there has been an increase in the so-called total refuseniks (in 2011 - 21, in 2012 - 41 people), for whom military or alternative civilian service is replaced by controlled house arrest. Residents of the Åland Islands are not drafted into the army. Since 1995, women have been allowed to serve as volunteers in the army. In 2014, ~4 thousand soldiers interrupted their service (of which 3 thousand were due to mental and behavioral disorders - depression, depression, problems with adaptation, alcohol and drug addiction). There is a Union of conscripts that defends the rights of conscripts.

During the Cold War, Finland could mobilize up to 490,000 reservists in the event of hostilities, but this number has now decreased to 350,000 due to a reduction in the military budget. The age of mobilization is 60 years.

The Finnish Defense Forces include the Finnish Army (Finnish Suomen maavoimat, Swedish Finländska armén), the Finnish Navy (Finnish Suomen merivoimat, Swedish Finländska marinen), the Finnish Air Squads (Finnish Suomen ilmavoimat, Swedish Finländska flygvapnet). The Finnish Border Guard is subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior, but can be included in the armed forces if necessary.

Currently, there is a reduction in funding, the number of personnel (for 2008-2012, personnel were reduced by more than 10%) and garrisons of the Finnish Defense Forces. In order to save money, it is planned to reduce the term of conscription service by two weeks, and it is also possible to dismiss regular military personnel, that is, officers, which has never been offered before.

 

Police

The Finnish Police (Finnish Poliisi, Swedish Polisen) is subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior, and the total number of employees in the police department is 10.9 thousand people, of which 7.5 thousand were directly police officers in 2014 (in 2012 - 7.7 thousand). There are ~681 people from the civilian population of the country per one policeman.

Approximately 800 police officers are the targets of citizen complaints every year. Of this number, about 100 police officers are under investigation. According to prosecutor Anssi Hiivala, police officers are suspected mainly of using violence or driving under the influence of alcohol in their spare time. From 2013 to 2015, there was a decrease in the trust of Finns in the police in the area of ​​corruption.

In 2013, in order to prevent a number of crimes (drug trafficking, etc.), the police received ~2 thousand permits for the use of secret methods of electronic surveillance, in connection with which the phones of 770 people were tapped.

Since 2015, police vehicles throughout Finland have been equipped with devices that read vehicle registration numbers and can tell whether the vehicle has passed the inspection, taxes paid, speed and driving method.

To control the territory, vehicles and people, the police use quadrocopters and drones. Also put into operation armored police vehicles "Morra" (Mörkö) for use during the riots.

Crime
In 2012, about half a million crimes were committed in Finland.

In 2014, 9789 crimes related to the illegal transportation of drugs were recorded (10% less than in 2013). However, the number of serious drug crimes increased from 202 in 2013 to 300 in 2014. The total number of detected drug offenses in 2015 was 23,478 cases.

In 2015, there was an increase in the share of foreigners (20-25%) in the overall statistics on rape in the country.

In 2016, there was an overall decrease in the number of crimes.

penitentiary system
In 2014, according to the independent organization World Justice Project, Finland ranked fourth in the ranking of the rule of law, and Finnish criminal justice was recognized as the best in the world.

In 2013, there were 3,200 prisoners in Finnish prisons, serving an average ten-month sentence. Despite good security, there are a number of cases of violence among those serving sentences.

In 2014, there were a record number of those serving a “life sentence” (from 12 years to 14 years and 4 months in recent years) imprisonment for premeditated murder - 211 people (in 2000 there were 59 life prisoners, and in 1990 - th years - less than thirty). For manslaughter over the past decade, on average, sentenced to nine years in prison. In the 1980s, only 10% of those who killed were convicted under the article "premeditated murder", in 2013 - almost a third. A number of Finnish prisons are implementing educational programs for prisoners to help with their rehabilitation after the end of their prison term.

At the end of 2011, a law on controlled house arrest came into force in Finland, under which persons sentenced by a court to up to six months in prison can stay at home with an electronic bracelet attached to their leg or arm, which is triggered when they leave a zone specified by the police. The daily cost of supervised house arrest is three times less than the maintenance of a prisoner in prison.

During the presidency of Tarja Halonen, the latter granted ~22 clemency petitions per year. Incumbent President Sauli Niinistö considers the practice of pardons a relic of the past and intends to fully transfer the institution of pardons to the judiciary.

In 2015, the Parliament approved a legislative amendment, according to which fines left without payment from January 2016 will again bring the non-payer to the dock.

Finnish intelligence services
According to ex-Minister of Defense Karl Haglund, the Finnish legislation does not currently provide for a situation where Finland, involved in the conflict, could act by non-military methods, in connection with which the minister proposed to develop a methodology and strategy for conducting a cyber war by Finland. Interior Minister Petteri Orpo is also pushing for an update to Finland's intelligence law, which would give the police and military the right to scout information networks.

 

Economy

Finland is one of the small highly developed industrial countries. Its share in world production is small - 0.4%, in world trade - 0.8%. Finland's gross domestic product in 2002 was 140.5 billion euros. Growth compared to 2001 amounted to 1.7%.

Finland is in the top group of countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita - $44,492 (purchasing power parity) or $45,927 (nominal) in 2017.

In January 2013, exports amounted to 4.6 billion € (3% more than in January 2012); the share of chemical industry products from Finnish exports exceeded one quarter (about 50% - oil products); increased export of wood and metal products; there was a collapse in the export of mobile phones (from 0.5 million units in January 2012 to 32 thousand in January 2013).

Government revenues from tax collection amount to ~65 billion euros (according to estimates, Finland annually loses 4.6-7.7 billion euros due to non-payment of taxes; bankrupt firms and other companies that evade taxes account for about 4.1 billion euro) Government revenues from excises on sweets in 2013 amounted to ~78 million euros.

As of the second quarter of 2016, the average salary in Finland is 2509 € (net) and 3380 € (gross) per month.

Advantages: export-oriented and quality-oriented industry. Developed high-tech sector (Here mapping service, Internet services). First place in the world in the production of paper. Rapid recovery of export volumes after recession. Low inflation, sometimes below 2% per year. Growing investment attractiveness. Gateway to the Russian and Baltic economy. Part of the euro area. Strengthened economic growth.

Weaknesses: severe recession in 1991-1993, real GDP fell by 15%. Rapidly aging population, early retirement. Large public debt and external debt; high unemployment (10%). Undeveloped domestic market; peripheral location in Europe.

Alexander Stubb has been the Minister of Foreign Trade of Finland since 2011.

In 2009, the police conducted 611 investigations of economic crimes, in 2013 there were 326. The same trend is noticeable in court verdicts: in 2010, the court issued 416 business bans, and in 2013 - 342. As of 2014, Finland has about 1,000 bans on doing business, while every year 30 to 40 businessmen are caught violating it.

According to 2014 estimates, the annual damage to the state from computer problems in the workplace of civil servants reaches 275 million euros.

In 2013, based on a report by the anti-corruption body of the Council of Europe GRECO, as well as research by the German branch of Ernst & Young, Finland remained one of the least corrupt countries in the European Union.

In 2012-2014, the Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch Ratings rating agencies, based on annual inspections of a number of large companies and government agencies, assigned Finland the highest rating for long-term loans (AAA). Only in October 2014, the Standard & Poor's agency downgraded the country's rating to AA +, justifying the decision with weak prospects for the growth of the national economy.

In the annual ranking of the World Economic Forum, Finland in 2013 ranked third (after Switzerland and Singapore) in terms of competitiveness, and in 2014 - fourth.

According to a study conducted in 2014 by the OECD, the Finnish school system is the most cost-effective among industrialized countries.

 

Agriculture

Finland belongs to one of the northernmost agricultural countries. Agricultural land occupies 8% of the entire territory of the country, and arable land is estimated at 2 million hectares. Most farms are small farms with less than 10 hectares of arable land, but there is a trend towards larger farms. Agriculture, like cattle breeding, has a high degree of mechanization.

In connection with the country's accession to the EU, only the number of poultry farms in the country in the period 1995-2012 decreased from 3 thousand to 350.

Every year, up to 15,000 people are involved in seasonal agricultural work to pick berries and mushrooms, half of which are foreigners.

The Russian food embargo of 2014-2015 brought multimillion-dollar losses to Finnish agriculture.

 

Industry

Finnish steel companies (Outokumpu, FNsteel, etc.) are among the leading stainless steel producers in the world.

Wärtsilä Oyj Abp is a Finnish publicly traded engineering company that manufactures machinery and equipment for gas, oil and other power plants.

Wärtsilä are one of the most popular diesels on large marine vessels and large yachts.

 

Energy

In 2006, electricity consumption in Finland amounted to about 83.6 billion kWh, of which about 20% was imported (at the same time, imports from Russia tripled in 2021 due to higher energy prices and reached 8.2 billion kWh h). Since June 7, 2015, due to the decrease in the cost of electricity produced in Fennoscandia, Finland for the first time in history began to export (up to 350 MWh) electricity to Russia. The Fenno-Skan power cable connects the power systems of Sweden and Finland in the region of Rauma.

According to Biolan research, only ¼ of Finns trust the prospects for solar energy in Finland, and the development of this area is constrained by the lack of subsidies.

Nuclear power
In 2005, about 20% of electricity was generated at the Loviisa and Olkiluoto nuclear power plants. In 2005, the construction of the third Olkiluoto power unit began, the unit was supposed to be launched in 2010, but the deadline is constantly being postponed. The current launch date is set for 2018.

Tourism
Tourism is one of the components of the Finnish economy: in 2011, 7.3 million tourists visited the country, which is 17% more than in 2010. In 2015, 7.4 million foreign tourists visited Finland. One of the most popular cities among foreign tourists is the capital of Finland, Helsinki. Other major cities are also popular: Tampere, Turku, Oulu, Kuopio and Porvoo. During the Christmas holidays and the New Year, up to 100,000 tourists from Russia visit the country.

According to the MEK tourism promotion center, the development of the tourism business in the country is constrained by the stereotypes that foreigners have that Finland is a distant, cold and expensive country, in connection with which the MEK called for destroying existing prejudices. According to the Eurostat agency, Finland is recognized as one of the most expensive countries in Europe. Prices in the country are 20% higher than the European average.

Among the natural monuments of Finland, Mount Aavasaksa, located near the Arctic Circle, Lake Saimaa and others are distinguished.

In Finland, mostly in Lapland, winter tourism is developed - slopes for lovers of skiing and snowboarding, snowmobiling, dog and reindeer sledding.

In Kemi every winter they build a huge snow fortress LumiLinna with an Ice Hotel. Salla, Ruka near Kuusamo, Suomu near Kemijärvi, Saariselkä, Levi, Himos and Ylläs are famous for their ski slopes.

Due to the demand for healthcare services, there has been an increase in the number of Russian tourists coming to Finland for treatment and recreational activities.

A separate category is religious tourism (or pilgrimage) for the purpose of which is visiting Christian centers located in Finland, one of which is the Novo-Valaam and Lintul monasteries. Up to 15 thousand tourists from Russia visit the monasteries a year, which is 1/7 of all visitors, and by the decision of the guild of Finnish journalists writing about tourism, the New Valaam Monastery was chosen as the best tourist attraction in Finland in 2012.

According to the unified museum card that has appeared since May 2015 (sold at the box office of museums and is valid for a year), you can visit more than 200 museums in the country.

Taxation
Since January 2015, an electronic portal has been operating on the website of the Tax Administration, through which concerned citizens can report information on cases of violation of tax laws (about 3.5 thousand applications were received in six months). Also, as of mid-2016, more than half of tax returns were received electronically.

Under a provision in force until 2016, Finland was not entitled to levy taxes on Finnish pensioners living in Spain, with the exception of those who worked in the public sector before retirement. Also, Finnish pensioners living in Portugal were completely exempted from paying taxes for the first ten years. Since April 2016, this practice has been abolished.

 

Transport

Passenger transportation to Finland is carried out by all major modes of transport - road, rail, air and sea.

Roads in Finland are managed by the Road Administration (Fin. Tiehallinto) - an agency subordinate to the Ministry of Transport and Communications. In 2014, the permissible blood alcohol content of a driver was 0.5 ppm, but a program has been proposed to reduce the rate to 0.2 ppm.

The Finnish railway network is operated by the state-owned company Ratahallintokeskus, which is subordinate to the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Finland is connected with Russia by two trains, Leo Tolstoy (Helsinki-Moscow) and Allegro (Helsinki-St. Petersburg). Allegro is a high-speed train based on the Pendolino platform and has a speed of up to 220 kilometers per hour. On the territory of Finland, a gauge with a width of 1524 mm is used.

Domestic and international air travel in Finland is operated by about twenty airlines, including two Finnish ones: Finnair (formerly Aero), a Finnish state-controlled airline, and Finncomm Airlines, a privately owned airline operating joint ventures. air travel with Finnair. There are 28 airports in the country, the largest of which is Helsinki-Vantaa located in Vantaa. 25 airports are operated by Finavia.

Ferry service is carried out with Sweden, Estonia, Poland, Germany and Russia; export of products of pulp and paper, woodworking, machine-building, chemical, light, food industries. Main foreign trade partners: EU countries, Russia.

Until 2010, the Maritime Administration of Finland was responsible for the communication by water transport, since January 1, 2010 it was divided into two parts: the Transport Administration and the Transport Security Administration.

During the Christmas holidays and the New Year, the shortage of tickets for all means of public transport increases sharply.

 

Connection

Mail
Over the past few years, Finnish Post has evolved from a purely postal company into a company that offers a variety of logistics, data and material management services. The company operates in the international market.

For the convenience of users in a number of major cities of the country, Itella has introduced Smartpost machines for issuing parcels in standardized postal packaging.

In 2013, a Finnish postage stamp featuring a 1933 Volvo postal car and two drivers standing in front of it was awarded the best postage stamp in a competition held by Posteurop, a union of European postal services. The brand was created by Susanna Rumpu and Ari Lakaniemi.

Telecommunications
There are three telecommunications companies in Finland, leaders in the cellular communications market - Elisa Oyj (Elisa), TeliaSonera Oyj (Sonera) and DNA Oy (DNA). Research conducted by Aalto University in 2013 showed that mobile network data rates often do not match the advertised promises of TV operators: in large cities, the DNA mobile network of the TV operator was the fastest, while the Elisa and Sonera mobile networks performed better in urban outskirts and in rural areas .

Since June 2017, roaming in the countries of the European Union has been cancelled.

Internet
In 2015, in the ranking of the World Economic Forum, Finland was designated as the leader in the number of mobile Internet connections (125 connections per hundred inhabitants; Japan - 116; Hungary - 33); At the same time, researchers noted a low level of digitization in the country, but already in 2016, according to an assessment compiled by the Finnish Economic Research Institute Etla, the country became a leader in terms of digitization among 22 European countries.

In 2013, among Finnish citizens aged 75-89, only one in five used the Internet, about 300,000 Finnish pensioners did not have a computer, and 40,000 pensioners did not have a mobile phone.

According to statistics, in 2013 Finns used the Google search engine 30 million times a day (5 million times more than in 2012).

A number of companies have opened their data centers in the country: in 2013, Google invested about 800 million euros in the project in Hamina (sea water is used to cool electronic equipment in the center); in 2014, Microsoft opened its center in the Uusimaa region; In 2015, the German company Hetzner announced its intention to invest about 200 million euros in the construction of its data center in the city of Tuusula.

Plans are underway to lay a fiber optic cable from Germany to Finland under the Baltic Sea.

 

Social sphere

In the international ranking of social development[d] as of 2020, Finland ranks third, while there is a steady upward movement of the country in this ranking: in 2015, Finland ranked 7th, in 2019 - 4th.

Housing stock
In 2011, there were 1,459,705 buildings in the country, of which 1,245,671 (85.3%) were residential buildings. Private detached houses - 1,111,378 (76.1% of all buildings); row one- and two-story houses (neighbor only on the side) - 77,060 (5.3%); high-rise buildings - 57,233 (3.9%). On average, the provision of housing for Finnish citizens in 2015 was 40 m² (in Helsinki - 34 m²).

In August 2012, the average price for housing in an old high-rise building in the metropolitan area was about 3,300 € per m², and in other cities - 2,100 €. In February 2013, the value increase was 4.3% in Helsinki (€3,501 per m²) and 1.4% in the country (€2,185 per m²). In 2014, according to the forecast of the economic research center Pellervo (PTT), the growth in housing prices will be 2.5%. According to the Statistical Center, renting an apartment can be profitable only for a short period, in other cases it is advisable to buy a home.

In 2013, the cost of a land plot for the construction of a residential building in the capital region was 720 euros per m², and in other parts of the country - 87 euros per m² (total growth since the beginning of the 2000s was: in the capital region - 108.9% , in the country - 52.7%.According to Danske Bank forecasts, in 2014-2015, a new increase in housing prices will begin in Finland.

In the last quarter of 2012, there was an increase in rent for rented housing (in the Helsinki region the increase was 2%, in other regions of the country - 3.7%), and the overall increase in rent in 2012 amounted to an average of 4% (in Helsinki - 5%, in Tampere - 2.6%, in Turku - 3.2%). The decline in the construction of rental housing in the Helsinki region has caused sharp criticism of the Katainen government from the opposition.

According to the state program for the development of housing for the elderly, which requires 92% of people over the age of 75 years to live at home, receiving services at home, by 2030 there should be one million unobstructed apartments in cities for an increasing number of elderly people (for 2013 there were only 300 thousand).

A family
A typical Finnish family is a man and a woman living in a marriage union. The average size of a Finnish family at the end of 2018 is 2.75 people (in 1990, the average Finnish family consisted of three people). About 1,015,000 people live alone.

According to the Statistics Center, at the end of 2018 there were 1,469,000 families in Finland, but their number began to decline as early as 2017, and in 2018 it decreased by 2,800 (25,000 marriages were concluded in the country and 14,000 were dissolved in 2013). ).

Between 1995 and 2014, a total of 1,138 minors were married in Finland, most of them girls. Of these, about 30 people were at the time of marriage at the age of 14-15 years. Under the Marriage Act, minors require permission from the Department of Justice.

In 2013, there were 26 thousand families in Finland, in which one or both parents come from Russia or the former USSR (parents from Sweden are in second place in terms of country of origin and Estonia is in third place).

The number of families with children in 2018 decreased from the previous year to 562,000.

In parallel with the reduction in the number of families, the proportion of childless couples is increasing. In 2018, the number of childless couples living in civil unions increased by 2,530 compared to 2017, and the number of childless married couples increased by 1,900.

At the end of 2009 in Finland there were 12% of incomplete families where one of the parents is a single mother or single father; 1,244 people were listed as being in same-sex civil partnerships (in 2013, the number of such unions decreased to 405; they brought up about 600 minor children).

In the case of a divorce and an aggravation of interpersonal relations, the so-called “prohibition on approach” operates in the country.

In November 2014, the Finnish Parliament approved a bill initiated by the citizens of the country, legalizing same-sex marriage in the country and granting same-sex spouses the right to joint adoption of children. In February 2015, the President of the country, Sauli Niinistö, approved the introduction of appropriate changes to the Finnish marriage law. The law came into force on March 1, 2017.

According to the ratings of the international organization Save the Children (for 2013 and 2014), Finland is the best country in the world for mother and child (in 2012, the country occupied the sixth position). The material situation of families with children in Finland was one of the best in Europe, but despite this, 102,000 children lived in families with low incomes in 2014.

 

According to experts, the choice of a name for newborn children is influenced by fashion trends in culture, as well as the laws of the Finnish language.

In 2016, with the adoption of a new bill, the fee for kindergarten services was increased.

According to 2015 estimates, the sexual activity of Finns has decreased in recent years and couples have had sex on average 1-2 times a week. Two thirds of Finnish men and one third of women use porn products.

 

Healthcare

Finland was the first country in the world to introduce the concept of a patient's right in the 1960s. These rights actually apply in real life, greatly complicating the doctor's work and facilitating participation in the patient's care. For example, hiding a diagnosis from a patient in Finland is impossible and even criminal; at the same time, the patient also has the right not to know about his diagnosis, about which he must notify the doctor.

Medicine in Finland is evidence-based, that is, only those methods of treatment (and diagnostics) are used, the effectiveness of which has been proven by a scientific method; a bill is being drafted to ban the use of alternative medicine methods on young children and seriously ill patients.

In 2010, medicine is practically free for residents of the country. Almost all treatment costs are reimbursed from the state budget. Insulin and other medicines needed for chronic diseases are free for Finnish citizens.

From January 2014, due to a new EU directive, foreign workers from third countries who have entered into an employment contract for a period of at least 6 months will be entitled to the same health and social services as Finnish citizens, and will also be able to receive a monthly child allowance. The new rules will not apply to international students from third countries.

Magnetic and computed tomographs are available in every district hospital (approximately one tomograph for every 20,000 residents).

Since October 2010, a new smoking law has come into force in Finland, completely prohibiting the sale or otherwise transfer of tobacco products to persons under 18 years of age. It was also forbidden to purchase tobacco products via the Internet. In stores, tobacco products cannot be displayed - smokers must choose cigarettes from the catalog, naming the number. Due to the popularity of tattooing, since 2013 the Finnish Ministry of Health has been considering ways to increase control over tattooing.

One of the reasons why the number of abortions among women aged 25-34 did not decrease in Finland during the 2000s is the continuing decline in incomes of the population, and the high number of abortions among adolescents - gaps in education in the field of sexual health.

In accordance with the instructions, in urgent cases, an ambulance in Finland should reach the patient in no more than 8 minutes. Starting from 2013, the medical districts will not be responsible for the work of the ambulance service.

 

Education

The Finnish population is highly educated. By the end of 2020, 3,469,000 people or 74% of the Finnish population aged 15 and over have completed higher education. According to studies conducted in 2013 by the OECD, adult Finns became the second in the world (after the inhabitants of Sweden and Japan) in terms of knowledge, in particular, this concerns reading and arithmetic, as well as the ability to use a computer in solving various problems, however, the IQ level of the Finnish population has not risen since 1997, and reading skills are on the decline (among fourth-grade Finnish students, motivation to read is second to last among schoolchildren in 45 countries).

Finnish legislation guarantees its citizens universal secondary education (school attendance is not a prerequisite, and about 200 children are homeschooled).

A comprehensive school involves nine years of study, and children begin to go to it from the age of seven. The school year lasts 188 days and the municipalities independently distribute them between the autumn and spring semesters; most often the first half of the year lasts 89 school days, and the spring - 98. Classes begin in August and end at the end of May. Schools pay attention to ensuring the safety of children and the educational process.

The child goes to the school closest to the house, but there is a tendency among parents to send their children to more prestigious educational institutions from their point of view. If the school is more than two and a half kilometers, then by law the student (up to the 6th grade) is required to deliver back and forth by taxi at the expense of the municipality. The school gives textbooks and all stationery free of charge and teaches Finnish, mathematics, natural history, and home economics. Education in the basics of religion (Lutheranism or Orthodoxy) occurs only with the consent of the parents and in accordance with the religion. Atheists have the right to allow a child to be taught secular ethics, and in case of objection, children are exempted from any of the courses. Library shelves are in the corridor, and access to them is free. Researchers note that every tenth Finnish student is bullied at the place of study. In August 2013, Education Minister Krista Kiuru announced that she intended to pass a new law that would possibly regulate school class sizes.

Grades in the lower grades are not given; verbal grading is used: excellent, good, changeable, and "requires training". Starting from the 4th grade, grades are given in the range from 4 to 10 points. There are also marks for behavior - the ability to work in a group and alone, good manners, and the desire to influence others for the better.

From the 3rd grade, the first foreign language, English, is added to the subjects. From 5 - the second (German-French) by choice and desire. A foreign-speaking child (for example, from an immigrant family) is entitled to study his native language from the first grade. From the 7th grade, they begin to learn the second state language - Swedish (see Compulsory Swedish).

In the lower grades, subjects are combined (chemistry with physics and biology, language with literature) and home economics is taught to everyone without distinction of gender. In the Finnish school, they write a lot: all kinds of essays are designed to teach the child to have their own opinion on each issue and express it in literary language.

After leaving school, a young person can continue their studies at a gymnasium, where education ends with a matriculation exam, or enter a secondary vocational educational institution.

In 2013, 25 higher educational institutions operated in Finland: ten universities, ten more specialized institutes (they study technology, business and economics, art), and the military academy is also ranked among the universities. In 2014, the Ministry of Education increased the university quota by 3,000 full-time study places, but the reduction in funding for universities by 280 million euros per year since 2015 has led to a reduction in the staff of university teachers by 5,200 people. Among the universities, the oldest and most famous is the University of Helsinki.

In Finland, there are a significant number of programs for those who plan to study at the bachelor's level, as well as at the following levels. Programs are presented in Finnish, Swedish and English.

Higher education, like primary education, is completely free for citizens of the country, for foreigners from EU countries and the European Economic Area, as well as exchange students. For other groups of students, paid education will be introduced from 2016, the cost of which will be ~4 thousand euros per year. A number of students take bank loans for their studies at universities.

 

Employment

In April 2020, 433,000 unemployed people were registered in Finland (in 2010, unemployment among Finns was 8.7%; among Russian speakers - 28%, and immigrants from Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan occupied the leading positions in unemployment in Finland - more than 50%) . Between 2012 and 2013, the unemployment rate among people with higher education, especially in science and technology, increased by 30%. Experts do not note a downward trend in the number of unemployed in the country. Labor Minister Lauri Ihalainen urged Finnish men to become more active in the traditionally female professions in the social sector, education and health care, which remain in demand.

Effective in 2013, the government-approved new "public guarantee" initiative for youth, which requires the authorities to give employment or school commitments to all young people under the age of 25, has encountered significant difficulties in large cities, where annual peaks the number of unemployed falls in May-June, when university graduates are registered as unemployed in employment centers.

As of October 2013, the average salary of a working Finn was €3,647 in the public sector, €2,932 in the municipal sector and €3,279 in the private sector. Compared to 2003, the salaries of civil servants increased by an average of 44%, and in the municipal and private sector - 35%. It is noted that the difference in salaries in Finland between men and women increases with age: in the age group under 30, men and women receive the same salary (or the difference is a maximum of 10%); among forty-year-olds and above, the difference grows to 15-20%, and in some cases up to 40%.

According to the Statistical Committee, the income gap among Finnish citizens began to grow sharply in the mid-1990s and reached its peak in 2007. For 2013, the incomes of the wealthiest decreased by 5.9% due to a decrease in sales and dividend income, while the incomes of the poorest increased by 2.6% due to indexation of social benefits and tax cuts.

Pension system
In 2014, according to the rating of pension systems Melbourne Mercer Global Index, Finland took the fourth place. A number of Finnish insurance companies invest in China (Varma has 1%, Ilmarinen has 5%).

At the beginning of 2013, 870 thousand households in the country consisted of pensioners; the average pension was 1,600 euros (despite the fact that the pensions of individual ex-heads of listed companies ranged from 0.4-0.6 million euros per month).

In 2012-2013, the average retirement age of Finnish citizens was 60.9 years. According to the draft of the new pension reform, starting from 2017, the age barrier for retirement is planned to be gradually increased to 65 years, which was approved by the parliamentary commission. According to the THL Health and Social Development Authority, of Finns over 80, only one in six lives in a nursing home or nursing home, and 85.8% live at home. Some of them receive home care. Only one in twenty (5.4%) is cared for by a relative or spouse who has taken care of guardianship (fin. omaishoito).

In 2013, 73 thousand people became pensioners. It is predicted that the continuing trend of reducing the total work experience will lead in the future to the presence in the country of up to half a million pensioners with a minimum pension.

In 2016, the Minister of Labor and Justice, Jari Lindström, proposed that all long-term unemployed people over 60 whose unemployed status be more than five years old should be retired, which was approved by the government.

 

The science

The leading research institute in Finland is the State Technical Research Center VTT, which employs 2,500 scientists and specialists in 9 cities. The VTT budget in 2006 was slightly reduced and amounted to 216 million euros (225 million euros in 2005). State funding has also decreased slightly - 76 million euros and accounts for 35% of the WTT budget (2005 - 78 million euros).

The Academy of Finland (AF) is located in the administrative structure of the Ministry of Education and, like Tekes, does not include research units. The AF acts as a coordinator of Finland's international cooperation, primarily through the European Union and the European Science Foundation. The main activities of the AF are the development of directions for the country's scientific policy, increasing the authority of scientific work and the effectiveness of implementing the results of scientific research.

In 2006, funding for research work through the AF amounted to 15% of the total R&D expenditure and was distributed: universities - 80%; research institutes - 10%; foreign organizations - 8%;

In Finland, much attention is paid to the development of technology parks, which are considered as one of the most important elements of the country's innovation infrastructure, contributing to the deepening of cooperation between public research centers and universities with industry.

The largest number of technology parks are located in the Helsinki metropolitan area - 3 technology parks, in Tampere - 3 and in Seinäjoki - 2. The largest technology park is the research complex in the Helsinki metropolitan region "Otaniemi", which is located in Espoo with WTT and the Helsinki University of Technology, in which 14 thousand students study.

Finland quite effectively uses the financial resources of the EU to conduct both its own and international R&D. In Finland, more than 2% of all scientific research is funded by the EU.

Within the framework of the EU budget for research activities in 2002-2006, Finland participated in 400 European projects in the subsequent major research areas, for which 146 million euros were allocated.

Finland actively participates in international cooperation in the field of innovation through the network of EU Innovation Relay Centers (IRCs), with the aim of developing and disseminating innovative technologies. The Finnish national network of Innovation Promotion Centers - IRC Finland was created under the leadership of Tekes and includes 7 technology companies in the largest cities of the country: Helsinki, Espoo, Turku, Tampere, Oulu and Kuopio.

In 2012, Finland ranked third (out of 142 countries) in the field of information technology development[358]. In the country, 80% of households have a computer (16th in the ranking); 87% of the population regularly uses the Internet (7th place in the world); Wi-Fi is used by 61% of the population.

As of June 2022, one of the Finnish scientific IT centers is located in Kajaani, in which one of the EU supercomputers is installed, within the framework of the EuroHPC JU project, the LUMI supercomputer. In June 2022, LUMI became the fastest supercomputer in Europe and the EU and third in the world in the Top500. "LUMI" has a claimed performance of 151.90 petaflops, and a peak performance of 214.35 petaflops with an average power consumption of about 2.9 MW.

At the legislative level, the number of experimental animals in scientific experiments has been reduced as much as possible in the country.

 

Mass media

Along with Norway and Japan, Finland is in the lead in terms of total newspaper circulation in relation to population, although the popularity of print publications has declined significantly in recent years. In 2011, more than two thousand magazines were published in the country, and their total circulation was more than fifteen million copies.

According to past studies, nine out of ten people in Finland aged 12 to 69 read a newspaper every day, but data from 2015 showed a decline (since autumn 2014) in readability of print newspapers by 3%, and magazines by 2%. Based on a survey by the Media Research Institute (KMT) in 2014, ½ of Finns used various gadgets when reading newspapers and magazines, and smartphone reading of newspapers almost tripled between 2012 and 2014.

In 2014, about 200 newspapers were published in Finland, ¼ of which are published at least four times a week, and 30 newspapers are published daily. The total circulation of newspapers is 4.25 million copies. Party press accounts for 40% of them. In 2015, researchers from the Lappeenranta University of Technology noted the lack of diversity and similarity in the content of Finnish newspapers.

The largest Finnish-language newspaper is the independent Helsingin Sanomat, which has a daily circulation of 338,000 copies and up to 100 pages. The next most popular are "Aamulehti" and "Turun Sanomat" (the latter has a daily circulation of more than 100,000 copies). The largest Russian-language publication in Finland is the monthly newspaper Spektr, published in Helsinki with a circulation of 15,000 copies (as of July 2015). The largest Swedish-language newspapers are Hufvudstadsbladet and Åbo Underrättelser.

From 2010 to 2015, in the "Press Freedom Index" compiled by the international organization "Reporters Without Borders", Finland was ranked first, but at the end of 2016 it was criticized by this international organization, which expressed concern about the position of Yleisradio in connection with the scandal related to with news about Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and the Prime Minister's possible involvement in the financing of the Terrafame mine. In 2019, Finland ranked second in the Press Freedom Index (after Norway).

According to surveys conducted by Taloustutkimus in December 2014, it follows that only 40% of Russian-speaking citizens of Finland fully trust the Finnish media, and 47% have not decided on their position.

Radio and TV
The nationwide radio and television broadcasting system belongs to the state. Radio programs are broadcast throughout the country on three channels. In addition, local radio stations with mixed capital operate in a number of communes.

Television has three nationwide channels. Along with the programs of the editorial office of the state joint-stock company YLE (Finnish Yleisradio Oy, Swedish Rundradion Ab), which includes the TV channels Yle TV1, Yle TV2 and the radio channel YLE Radio 1, they also broadcast on a lease basis the programs of the private television company MTV and the concern TV-3. Over the past 15 years, regional and city cable television networks have become widespread, relaying satellite transmissions.

Currently, everyone who owns a TV at home is required to pay a fee for using it in the amount of approximately 250 euros per year. From 2013, this fee will be replaced by a television tax, which will have to be paid by all permanent residents in Finland, except for those who do not have income. The amount of tax will depend on income, and range from 50 to 140 euros per person per year.

 

Culture

Finland is one of the three countries that has been awarded the title of "Capital of Design" (2012), and the most famous Finnish design brands are: Marimekko, Fiskars, Aarikka, Arabia, Nokia and others. The activities of artists are supported in the country by a system of numerous grants.

Literature
The export of translation rights for Finnish literature in 2012 increased by almost 60% compared to the previous year (2011: 1.26 million euros, 2012: about 2 million euros). Approximately half of sales of literary translation rights are in fiction, one-third in children's literature, and 10% in non-fiction.

Cinema
In 1904, the filming of newsreels began for the first time in the Grand Duchy of Finland, and in 1906, the national production company Apollo was founded by Karl Stolberg.

In 1907, with the participation of the actors of the Finnish National Theatre, the first national short feature film "Secret Moonshiners" was shot (directed by Luis Sparre and Teuvo Puro).

In 1913, the first full-length feature film Sylvi appeared (based on Minna Kant's play Sylvi, directed by Teuvo Puro). In the periods from 1909 to 1911 and from 1917 to 1918 films were not released in Finland. In 1919, a new production company was founded, which marked the beginning of the film adaptation of works of Finnish national literature - Anna Liisa (based on the comedy Anna Liisa by M. Kant, 1922, directors Puro and J. Snelman), The Old Baron from Rautaküla (based on the short story S. Topelius, 1923, directed by Fager), The Shoemakers of Nummi (based on the comedy by A. Kivi, 1923, directed by E. Karu). In the 1920s, new firms "Komedia-Film", "Fennika-Film" and "Akila-Suomi-Company" were created.

Animation trials were made in Finland in 1914 by Eric Vasström, but his work has survived only in isolated drawings. The oldest surviving cartoon is the work of director Hjalmar Löfving "A few meters of wind and rain" (Fin. Muutama metri tuulta ja sadetta), presented to the viewer in 1932. The first full-length Finnish cartoon "The Seven Brothers" was released in the late 1970s. Since the 2000s, the art of animation has been taught in the educational institutions of Turku.

In 1933, Erkki Karu founded the largest company in the country, Suomen Filmiteollisuus. Among the best Finnish films of this period are Juha (1937), The Way of Man (1940), directed by Nyurki Tapiovar.

Since 1931, the magazine "Kinolehti" has been published. In 1952, the Finnish Film Workers Union was founded.

 

Cuisine

Research conducted in 2009-2011, carried out under the coordination of specialists from the University of Eastern Finland, revealed a pattern that following the traditional diet for the Nordic countries, which includes whole grains (especially rye), vegetables and root crops, berries, fruits grown in Finland (apples), butter cabbage (rypsiöljy), low-fat dairy products and three times a week fish, reduces the likelihood of inflammatory processes in the body, which in turn reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and certain types of cancer.

According to opinion polls in 2017, the cinnamon bun is recognized as the most popular coffee treat in Finland.

Cultural diplomacy
In addition to the Ministry of Culture and Sports, Finland has an extensive network of institutions and departments responsible for developing cooperation between states and regions in the field of culture and science.