Regions of Denmark


Regions of Denmark

The Regions of Denmark were created on 1 January 2007 as part of the 2007 Danish Municipal Reform which created five new administrative units to replace the country's traditional thirteen counties ("amter"). At the same time, smaller municipalities ("kommuner") were merged into larger units, cutting the number of municipalities from 270 to 98. The reform was made effective on 1 January 2007. The most important area of responsibility for the new regions is the national health service. Each regional council consists of 41 members giving a total of 205 Council Members (2006). They are also responsible for employment policies and public mass transit, except east Denmark (46 municipalities), where these two tasks are handled by only one Authority each, the transit Authority for instance called "Trafikselskabet Movia" (Movia transit agency) (however, the transit agency does not cover Bornholm).

The reform has been called the biggest reform in thirty years, and an important policy issue for the current Liberal-Conservative Danish cabinet, most importantly for Lars Løkke Rasmussen, minister of the Interior and Health. The abolition of the counties had long been an important goal for both the Conservatives and the Danish People's Party. In June 2004, the Danish People's Party decided to back the reform, thus securing a majority in the Danish parliament ("Folketing"), although the party had preferred just abolishing the counties without replacing them with a new third administrative level (the other two being the government and the municipalities). The parties who wanted to limit the "power" of or abolish the second tier of government altogether, prevailed insofar as the regions have no authority to levy any taxes, unlike the former counties. 90% of the budgets of the Regions are allocated to the national health service. The Regions are funded mainly by the central government (around 70%), with some financing (around 30%) coming from the municipalities. A central government "Health Contribution" tax ("Sundhedsbidrag") at 8.00% on the preliminary and final income statement forms will replace the "County" ("Amt") tax.

The 5 State Administrations ("Statsforvaltninger") represent the Central Government with offices in the Regions and the leader holds the office of Director ("Forvaltningsdirektør") and is a university graduate of law. They replaced the 15 State Counties ("Statsamter"), under the leadership of a county prefect ("amtmand"), some of them also serving as a prefect ("stiftamtmand") for one or more of the ten dioceses in Denmark proper.

Copenhagen County and Frederiksberg were supervised by the State County of Copenhagen County, and Copenhagen Municipality had a county prefecture called "Københavns Overpræsidium", headed by a county prefect called an "Overpræsident", in 1747 promoted from "Præsident", with the same role as the rest of the State Counties, except for supervision, with the Ministry of the Interior in charge, and appeals/complaints in social matters. This is the reason why only the First Mayor of Copenhagen Municipality is called "Overborgmester", taking over the political leadership of "Borgerrepræsentationen", the city council from the "Overpræsident" in 1938, years ahead of this being done by county mayors ("amtsborgmestre"), taking over leadership from the county prefect ("amtmanden") in county councils across Denmark.

As of 2007, the public sector is (intended to be) more streamlined and uniform, including names of Authorities, and without the three independent municipalities.

Each Director also serves as prefect ("stiftamtmand") for two dioceses and together with each bishop is part of the diocesan authorities ("stiftsøvrigheden"). "Stiftamtmand" today contains the only remaining use of the word "amt" (county/authority). The State Administrations supervise the regions and municipalities and handle affairs concerning adoption, citizenship, divorce, complaints/appeals etc. They belong to The Ministry of the Interior and Health, which after the parliamentary election 2007 was abolished and became part of the large Ministry of Welfare.

List of regions (January 1 2008)

ee also

*Municipalities of Denmark
*Subdivisions of the Nordic countries
*Faroe Islands
*Greenland

External links

* [http://www.kl.dk/local-reform Explanation of and background for Municipal Reform] ndash with links to the Danish Ministry of the Interior and Health (in English)
* [http://www.im.dk/publikationer/strukturaftale/index.html The agreement on the Municipal Reform] ndash from the Danish Ministry of the Interior and Health da icon
* [http://www.indenrigsministeriet.dk/im/site.aspx?p=34 The Ministry´s home page with report from the Commission on Administrative Structure etc.]
* [http://www.regioner.dk/ Home page of Regions. Click on map to access a Region's home page] da icon
* [http://www.dst.dk/pukora/epub/Nyt/2007/NR134.pdf Budget of the Regions] da icon
* [http://www.statistikbanken.dk/BUDR1 Statistikbanken.dk Budget]
* [http://www.statistikbanken.dk/BUDR32 Statistikbanken.dk Budget] da icon
* [http://www.statsforvaltning.dk/site.aspx?p=3325 English home page of State Administrations]
* [http://www.statsforvaltning.dk/site.aspx?p=2642 Areas of concern (adoption etc.)] (English)
* [http://www.bm.dk/sw476.asp Ministry of Employment]
* [http://www.ams.dk/sw7940.asp?kontor=br&show=sagsomraader Links to the 4 employment regions] da icon
* [http://www.ks.no/upload/57389/Forskning_reform_selstad2.ppt Regionalization and devolution: Proposed new regions of Norway (powerpoint slide show)]
* [http://www.byhistorie.dk/kommuner/ Maps (pdf) showing local/regional administration 1660-2007] da icon
* [http://kommune.eniro.dk/danmarkskort/ Map with named municipalities and regions]
* [http://kort.krak.dk/borgerdk.kortsoegning/imapDKbig.asp Krak searchable/printable map] (outline of municipality visible, but does not print out!)
* [http://www.statistikbanken.dk/BEF1A07 Statistics Denmark]

Regions of Denmark


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