Myriad municipalities want to fuse together

Myriad municipalities want to fuse together
Oslo city hall. File photo: Vegard Grøtt/Scanpix
A majority of Norway's top local public servants would like the country to fuse some of its more than 400 municipalities to create bigger administrative districts, according to a survey published on Wednesday.

The Kommunal Rapport magazine asked near half of the country's municipal councilors (rådmenn) about their views on a potential reform of Norway's municipal boundaries. Some 58 percent said they thought their municipalities should fuse with its neighbours. 

Half also said they liked the Danish model, in which the national parliament decides what number of municipalities there should be, but that already existing local authorities decide how they should join together.

"It is totally normal that a municipality cooperates with other municipalities in up to 30 or 40 areas," said Harald Danielssen, head of the The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (Kommunesektorens organisasjon – KS), which represents municipal and county employees.

"That is an indication that there are many areas which the municipalities don't feel they can reasonable take care of by themselves." 

Three of four survey respondents said that the government would likely tackle municipal reform after elections in September.

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