What is the status, what are the debates, what seems to happen, what should happen when it comes to regionalisation, multi-level governance and regional administrative reforms in the Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden? What could we need of further policy development, further research and development activities?
There is a long tradition in all four countries to discuss the number of administrative levels and tasks and responsibilities between levels, number of municipalities, the number of counties / regions, the number of regional state agencies and the geographical structure of all this. A never ending story where the situation today is no exception.
The situation we are presenting is far from exhaustive, but will hopefully provide a fairly accurate description regarding what kind of public debates and amendments, desires and attempts for changes, that are taking place.
Our aim is to show that such regional debates take place like never before, albeit to a lesser extent in Denmark. The situation is, as it “always” has been, uncertain and dynamic when it comes to regional structure, regional responsibilities and tasks, and democratic base for the regions. We will make a presentation of the formal structure, task portfolio and responsibilities of the regional level in the four countries. At first we will give a glimpse into and reflect upon the academic and political debate that goes on. Then we will assess what may happen by changes at the regional level. We have primarily oriented us in the public debate about regional level.
by Ulla Higdem and Aksel Hagen
Dr. Ulla Higdem is educated as a planner and a assosiated professor at the Faculty of Economy and Organisational science at Lillehammer University College in Norway. Higdem is affiliated with the Centre for innovation in services. She is currently leading the reseach group of Public Innovation Systems. Higdem is experienced in regional planning and regional development issues at national and international levels. Higdem’s research interest are in planning, partnerhips and innovation, governance and the democratic challenges of governance, foresight, action reseach and meta-governance.
Dr. Aksel Hagen is educated as a planner and works as an associated professor at the Faculty of Economy and Organisational science at Lillehammer University College in Norway. Hagen has worked as a parliamentarian for ten years, – six years as a Deputy county Major/committee chairperson and four years as Member of Parliament, including chairing The Standing Committee on Local Government and Public Administration. Hagen’s research interest are in local and regional planning, planning as a rhetorical activity, the interaction between planning and politics, and the democratic challenges of governance.
Follow Aksel Hagen on Twitter @AkselHagen
To read the entire article on think EU Budget Post 2020 check out the 2017 Report.
The Report on the state of Regionalisation in Europe.
More than 40 experts contributed to this work, by delivering detailed reports about the state of regionalisation and multilevel governance in chosen European countries. The study covers 41 countries, and each country report is based on a similar structure, thereby allowing a comparative approach among all studied countries.
- The first part of the report gives the political impetus from the main European stakeholders
- The second part of this report entails a summarised version of the country reports. The objective is to provide interested readers with a short overview of the main features of regionalisation in various European countries. The complete versions of the country reports are available on the AER website, under LINK
- The third part provides a thematic approach based on the main findings delivered by the country reports and the current state of regionalisation in Europe. The trends and outlooks lead to open questions on the future of the regions in the European landscape, and more broadly on the role of subnational authorities in the shaping of the continent.
- The fourth part gives the floor to the actual regional decision-makers in Europe, across a series of interviews and statements by Presidents, Vice-Presidents and elected representatives of the European regions.
Over the next months, we will be focusing on a different European country’s approach to regionalisation. During these months, look out for #RoR2017 on Twitter and/or Facebook and follow us at @europeanregions.
Strong European regions are a pathway to a stronger Europe.
Photo by Tomasz Rynkiewicz on Unsplash