q Regional and local government eyeing possible merger - The Copenhagen Post

Regional and local government eyeing possible merger

A consolidation would strengthen decentralised Denmark

The regional organisation Danske Regioner and the local government organisation KL are looking into a merger in an effort to strengthen the decentralised vote in Denmark, the two organisations revealed in a press release this morning.

A potential merger would consolidate the councils' and regions' interests, but not change their tasks and responsibilities.

”Since the council reforms, there has been a tendency to politically and administratively centralise the public sector,” Martin Damm, the head of KL, said in a press release.

”That means that fewer decisions are being made close to the citizens concerning local and regional needs. A joint and strong interest organisation can and must strengthen the opportunities for local and regional solutions.”

READ MORE: Lobbying: Denmark's most influential groups

Could be ready in 2018
The decentralised Denmark consists of 98 councils and five regions, which together deliver the most public welfare and service needs to citizens. The councils and regions account for almost three quarters of the total public budgets.

The merger possibility will be proposed to the boards of Danske Regioner and KL next month, and a prospective merger could be completed sometime in 2018.

A Eurobarometer analysis showed that Denmark is the EU country where the population has the greatest trust in their local and regional representatives.