Reforming regional structures
Detailed description of the Good Practice
In Denmark one of the most fundamental reforms of the welfare state in recent history, the Danish local government
structural reform, has been initiated. At the regional level the reform includes the amalgamation of the 15 counties and two municipalities in the Copenhagen Region to form five new Danish regions with fewer responsibilities and less autonomy by the beginning of 2007.
The regional structure under the Danish local government reform is an institutional innovation. The regional units are significantly larger than the counties, but more importantly, the delimitation of tasks, conditions for political government and financing are organised in a significant different manner compared to what used to apply in the counties. This means that the way the regions can develop and function is decided by a new set of circumstances.
More Details of the Good Practice
The study covers two main phases of the restructuring process. The first phase spans from the period when the political agreement was reached by the Danish Parliament in June 2004 to the election of a political Amalgamation Committee as the first coherent political management body in the region in November 2005 (preparatory
phase). In this phase, the study sought to paint a picture of how the creation of the region Midtjylland had been formed by two aspects, namely the institutional setup constituted by the local government reform, and the decisions made in the Region. The second phase concerns the final preparations headed by the elected political management body and lasting until January 1, 2007 when Region Midtjylland came into force together with the whole Danish municipal structural reform. This phase of the study focuses on how the Region’s creation is sealed by the outcome of a fight and competition for the future.
Key areas of responsibility were taken from the regions compared to the original counties, both the counties and the State could interfere in the governing function, they no longer had the right to impose taxes and they did
not have the same fiscal responsibility as the original counties.
Documentation and documents
Handbook "Rethinking rural development – Results from the ASAP project"
Data sources and references
Handbook "Rethinking rural development – Results from the ASAP project" (Accessed April, 7, 2009)