Municipal reform and the situation of island municipalities

“Island municipalities after the amalgamation reform. ‘Involuntary small municipalities’, but strong?” In this report researchers at Centre for Rural Research explored what is required for the four objectives of the Norwegian municipal reform to apply also to island municipalities without a mainland connection.

Nyhetsbilde Foto: Wikimedia commons, Kvitsøy

The municipal reform has four objectives: To improve municipalities' ability to withstand economic fluctuations without compromising on service, quality and capacity; to improve the quality of municipal services; to strengthen the municipality as an arena for local democracy; and to strengthen the municipalities’ role in social development.

As a result of this reform, some small municipalities that are vulnerable because of geography (distance, isolation, transport/infrastructure, et cetera) lose revenue as the new revenue system is designed to reach political goals of changes in municipal structure. Researcher Svein Frisvoll calls this unreasonable.

- A prerequisite for the "involuntary small municipalities" to be so-called good municipalities is a predictable and strong local government economy, says Frisvoll.


Read the full article in Kommunal Rapport (Norwegian only).

Svein Frisvoll
PhD (geografi)

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