A regional government reform could be on its way in Sweden after the Committee on Public Sector Responsibilities delivered its final whitepaper today. According to the press release, the committee proposes the introduction of 6-9 regions which will replace the existing 21 county councils.
Unlike the recent reforms of Danish and Norwegian local governments which saw the effective abolition of the regional level of government (Denmark) and the transfer of responsibility for health care from the regional to the national level (Norway), the Committee wants to keep and possibly strenghten the role of the regional level by giving the new regional councils strong powers in industrial and infrastructure policy.
Just as interesting is the fact that the committee doesn’t propose a change in the structure of local councils.
The committee suggests that the proposed reform should be introduced in two steps to coincide with the 2010 and 2014 elections.