Vi benytter cookies til at forbedre brugeroplevelsen.Læs mere om cookies

About municipalities and regions

Denmark is divided into 98 municipalities (kommuner) and five regions (regioner), each covering several municipalities. Only the municipalities are considered local authorities.

Municipalities - Local government

Denmark is divided into 98 municipalities (kommuner) and five regions (regioner), each covering several municipalities. Only the municipalities are considered local authorities.

The rules concerning local government are laid down in the Local Government Act. The Local Government Act contains the same rules for all municipalities.


Organisation

Overall management of and responsibility for the entire local organisation is vested in the local council. The council may make decisions on any municipal matter.

All local councillors are elected for a four-year period in local government elections. The rules governing election procedure are set out in the Local and Regional Government Election Act.

All municipalities are required by law to appoint a Finance Committee, and one or more standing committees. Committees are responsible for the preparation and implementation of the council decisions, and for the administration of local authority functions. They also make decisions on behalf of the council. The local council may set up advisory committees. The head of the local authority is the mayor, who chairs both the council and the Finance Committee. The mayor has the ultimate responsibility for day-to-day management of the council's administration and certain state functions, namely civil marriages.

The mayor is elected by the council from amongst its members for a term of four years. As a rule, the mayor cannot be removed during his or her term of office.

The Local Government Act contains no provisions regarding local government administration. The council is free to adapt its administration to the circumstances and can therefore decide what kind of management structure is preferred, which functions should be allocated to the individual departments, and how individual units should be organised.

The above mentioned describes the principal organization of local government as stipulated in the Local Government Act. It is possible for a local council to establish other forms of organization. This may require prior approval of the Ministry of Social Welfare.


Supervision

The supervision of municipalities in Denmark is performed by the State Administration. The Minister of Economic Affairs and the Interior monitors the State Administration.

The supervision of local government is performed from a legal point of view. The supervisory authorities do not consider whether the transactions made by the local council are reasonable or expedient, nor do they consider issues concerning discretionary actions, as long as the actions comply with the law. The supervision does not extend to issues of compliance with the principles of good administrative practice.

The supervision only addresses whether legislation and principles of public law have been set aside. This concerns only legislation particularly aimed at public authorities, and not legislation applying to local government and private enterprises or individuals.


Regional government

The rules concerning regional government are laid down in the Regional Government Act.


Organisation

The affairs of the five regions are governed by five regional councils. Each council has 41 members.

The councils are elected for a four year period in general regional elections, which are held on the same day as the local government elections. The rules governing the election procedure are set out in the Local and Regional Government Election Act.

The regions are required by law to establish a business committee. The business committee is by law, inter alia, responsible for preparing the draft of the budget, administration of the regions’ economy and staff and must give a statement regarding any matter which is submitted to the regional council.

The regional council must also establish a contact committee consisting of the chairperson of the regional council and the mayors of the municipalities in the region. The chairperson of the regional council is chairperson of the contact committee.

The regional councils may also establish select committees, if the regional councils deem it necessary.

The head of the regional council is called the chairperson of the regional council. The chairperson is elected by the regional council, during its constituent meeting, from the council membership, using a majority vote. The chairperson is elected for four years.

The act contains no provisions regarding the organisation of the regional administration. The regional council is thus free to set up an administration which it feels is best suited to handle the circumstances.


Powers and responsibilities

The powers and responsibilities of the regions, i.e. the regional councils, are exhaustively set out in chapter 2 of the Regional Government Act.

The five regions are primarily responsible for the health care system. The regions are also responsible for a variety of specifically defined tasks, which are most appropriately solved at the regional level. These include tasks related to regional development and growth, and tasks related to specialised educational and social institutions.

The regions have no right to impose taxes. Instead, a special financing system has been established.


Supervision

The supervision of the regions in Denmark is performed by the State Administration. The Minister of Economic Affairs and the Interior monitors the State Administration. The supervision of regional government is performed from a legal point of view. The supervisory authorities do not consider whether the transactions made by the local council are reasonable or expedient, nor do they consider issues concerning discretionary actions, as long as the actions comply with the law. The supervision does not extend to issues of compliance with the principles of good administrative practice.

The supervision only addresses whether legislation and principles of public law have been set aside. This concerns only legislation particularly aimed at public authorities, and not legislation applying to local government and private enterprises or individuals.