Naturellement compétitive

Finland covers an area of 338,000 km², making it the fifth-largest country in the European Union. Bordered to the west by Sweden, to the east by Russia and to the north by Norway, it shares 2,628 km of land border with its neighbors, the coastal border being 1,126 km long. Situated between the 60th and 70th northern parallels, a third of the territory of this country known as "the land of 10,000 lakes" lies beyond the Arctic Circle. Finland is a republic that declared its independence in 1917 from Swedish and Russian domination. Today, Finland's population is 5.5 million, and since 1812 the country's capital has been Helsinki.

Paper, pulp, lumber, metallurgy and mechanical engineering have traditionally formed the backbone of the national economy, but in the 1990s these industries gave way in importance to electronics in the wake of the Nokia cell phone company. International trade is particularly important for Finland; in 2019, exports accounted for 40% of GDP, up 7.5% on 2018, while imports represented 39.5% of GDP. Finland's main international trade partners are Sweden, Germany and Russia. France's proposal is 3.2% on imports and 3.2% on exports of goods.

Political and social Finland

Finland is a republic where legislative power is shared between Parliament and the President, Mr. Sauli NIINISTÖ, in office since the presidential elections of March 2012. In terms of its functioning, Finland is a so-called "semi-presidential" republic where the President of the Republic is elected for a six-year term and the unicameral Parliament of 200 deputies for 4 years.

The current government was sworn in on December 10, 2019. It is the 76th government of independent Finland. The coalition comprises the Social Democratic Party of Finland, the Green League, the Center Party, the Left Alliance and the Swedish People's Party of Finland. The Prime Minister is Ms Sanna Marin (Social Democratic Party of Finland), and her government comprises 19 ministers.

Finland is divided into six regions, including the autonomous region of the Åland Archipelago. It has 309 municipalities, 107 of which are cities (2021). Over the years, municipalities have become increasingly autonomous when it comes to organizing the most important social services. Today, more and more communes are joining forces to form larger administrative groupings.

Recent priorities for Finnish economic policy include the successful implementation of fiscal austerity policies, the fight against unemployment, major deregulation and privatization measures, and finding ways to control the costs of the national security system while ensuring its viability. In addition, the country is placing strong emphasis on education, training and R&D to create an "information society" capable of competing on a global scale. Finland's security policy is one of independent, non-aligned national defense. Since joining the European Union, Finland has actively contributed to the development of European security structures and the role of the European Union in crisis management.

Finland's population has doubled over the last century and currently stands at 5.5 million. In 2021, the unemployment rate for the population aged 15 to 64 was 75.8%. Around 70% of women work outside the home, and the proportion of women in the national parliament is one of the highest in the world. Finland was the second country in the world to grant women the right to vote, in 1906.

In 2020, the average monthly salary for a regular job for all employees was €3,000.

Languages and religions

The official languages in Finland are Finnish and Swedish, the latter spoken by a minority of around 5.2% of the population. Swedish is spoken mainly on Finland's west coast, and is the official language of the Åland archipelago.

In addition, there is a Lappish minority (0.18% in 2021) who speak their own language, Saami.

English is widely spoken throughout Finland; other European languages such as French and German are also spoken.

All religious groups are independent of the secular state, although the church is entitled to a tax. In 2019, Lutherans represented (68.7%) of churchgoers, Orthodox (1.1%), other religions (1.7%) and non-denominations (28.5%).

Formalities for entering Finland

Finland requires EU nationals to have a valid passport or national identity card to enter or stay in the country. Airlines must check the validity of these documents. Finnish airline Finnair strictly follows these instructions.

French nationals living in Finland can register with the consular section of the French Embassy. Registration involves entering information on the identity, nationality, marital status, family situation, residence, military status and profession of those applying. Registration is optional.

It enables rapid access to the various French administrative services and facilitates the use of special resources in the event of particular difficulties (arrest, serious illness, etc.). However, it is imperative for certain formalities, such as issuing a national identity card or registering to vote in France... Registration is free and valid for 5 years, renewable for the same period. This information is strictly confidential and can only be communicated with the consent of the persons concerned, who retain a permanent right of access.

To be registered, you need to provide proof of identity (national identity card, passport, driving license), marital status (family record book), nationality and address (rent, electricity, telephone receipts, etc.).


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