Denmark Unitary state
Following a large-scale territorial reform carried out in 2007, an assessment is underway today to evaluate the modiﬁcations.
In 2007, a large territorial reform led to a massive amalgamation of municipalities, which reduced their number from 271 to 98. A minimum of 20 000 inhabitants per municipality was the criterion used at the time. The 15 counties which existed in the country at the time were also consolidated into ﬁve large regions. These organizational changes were also part of a signiﬁcant wave of decentralisation, which gave additional competences to local and regional authorities, strengthening the role of municipalities in particular.
An assessment of this 2007 territorial reform is underway. Modiﬁcations on a very small scale might eventually be introduced in the coming months or years in order to take into account any weak points or demands from the population or local and regional governments. Such changes may consist in particular of the reorganisation of services within the local administrations.
Even so, the overall architecture of the territorial organisation in Denmark will not change, as the reform did achieve its expected objectives of strengthening the local level and of improving the eﬀectiveness of local and regional administrations.
Local self-government in Denmark:
The 2007 reform appears to have strengthened local self-government in the country and the European Charter of Local Self-Government seems to have been applied correctly. Apart from more substantial budget controls over the country’s local and regional authorities, the economic and budget crisis does not seem to have aﬀected local and regional self-government.
- 2007: sweeping territorial reform involving widespread municipal mergers, bringing the number of municipalities down from 271 to 98, replacing 15 counties with 5 regions, and decentralising powers
- Present day: review of the 2007 reform, minor changes possible