Municipalities of Norway
Politics of Norway
Norwayis divided into 19 administrative regions, called counties ("fylker", singularndash "fylke"), and 430 municipalities ("kommuner", cf. communes). [cite web|url=http://www.ks.no/templates/Page.aspx?id=46423|title= Kristiansund + Frei = Sant |accessdate =2008-01-09|publisher=www.ks.no|language=Norwegian] The capital city Oslois considered both a county and a municipality.
Municipalities are the atomic unit of local government in Norway and are responsible for primary education (through 10th grade), outpatient health services, senior citizen services, unemployment and other social services, zoning, economic development, and municipal roads. Law enforcement and church services are provided at a national level in Norway.
Municipalities are undergoing continuous consolidation. In 1930, there were 747 municipalities in Norway. At this writing there are 430, and there are plans for further mergers and political pressure to do so. See the list of
former municipalities of Norwayfor further detail.
The consolidation effort is complicated by a number of factors. Since block grants are made by the national government to the municipalities based on an assessment of need, there is little incentive for the municipalities to lose local autonomy. The national policy is that municipalities should only merge voluntarily, and studies are underway to identify potential gains.
* [http://www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/krd.html?id=504 Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development]
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