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Samband íslenskra sveitarfélaga EEA AND NORWAY GRANTS; POSSIBILITIES FOR COOPERATION AT THE LOCAL LEVEL FOR ESTONIA, ICELAND AND NORWAY LOCAL GOVERNMENT.

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Presentation on theme: "Samband íslenskra sveitarfélaga EEA AND NORWAY GRANTS; POSSIBILITIES FOR COOPERATION AT THE LOCAL LEVEL FOR ESTONIA, ICELAND AND NORWAY LOCAL GOVERNMENT."— Presentation transcript:

1 Samband íslenskra sveitarfélaga EEA AND NORWAY GRANTS; POSSIBILITIES FOR COOPERATION AT THE LOCAL LEVEL FOR ESTONIA, ICELAND AND NORWAY LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN ICELAND Guðrún D. Guðmundsdóttir Head of Brussels Office Icelandic Association of Local Authorities Icelandic Association of Local Authorities

2 THE ICELANDIC ASSOCIATION OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES All 74 municipalities are members Legal base in the Local Government Act: Responsible for safeguarding the common interests of the Icelandic local governments Coordination committee with the State Funded by the Municipal Equalization Fund 15 March 2013The Icelandic Association of Local Authorities2

3 THE ORGANISATION OF THE ASSOCIATION BOARD General Assembly Executive Director Finance and statistic Welfare services and legal affairs Negotiation with trade unions Development and international affairs Secretaritat and publishing Social Committtee The Municipal Harbour Association Municipal Credit Iceland School CommitteeAccounting Committee Brussels Office in the CEMR House of Municipalities and Regions Planning Committee

4 The Icelandic Association of Local Authorities4 Iceland km² inhabitants 3.1 inhabitants pr. km² Pheripheral, most sparsely populated country in Europe and the only one located as a whole in the Arctic Region 290 km 800 km 970 km

5 ICELAND HAS TWO LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT The State The municipalities, responsible for approximately 35% of the public sector

6 THE ICELANDIC LOCAL LEVEL CONSISTS OF 74 municipalities; all with the same legal status and obligations No formal regional level in Iceland but municipal cooperation is common through the eight regional municipal federations in areas such as –public transport –planning –social services –education –job creation –regional development 15 March 2013The Icelandic Association of Local Authorities6

7 EIGHT REGIONAL MUNICIPAL FEDERATIONS All the municipalities belong to a regional municipal federation Interest organisations with legal basis in the Local Government Act Political board Funded by the Municipal Equalization Fund

8 THE REGIONAL MUNICIPAL FEDERATIONS

9 THE MUNICIPAL BOUNDARIES

10 NORDIC STRUCTURE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT The structure is of Nordic origin, in many fundamental ways similar to the present structure in the other Nordic countries, with the exception that in Iceland there are no regional authorities. Municipal councils are elected every four years. All citizens over the age of 18 are eligible to vote.

11 MOST RECENT LOCAL ELECTIONS 2010 Lower turnout (78% % 2010) New untraditional movements were the winners Disappointing results for the four traditional ruling parties 40% of the elected are women (36% 2006)

12 LOCAL ELECTIONS 2010 Combined share of the traditional parties in the four largest municipalities –2006: 92% –2010: 66.8% Winners: Best Party (Reykjavík) Second Best Party (Kópavogur) Peoples List (Akureyri)

13 LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT SET OUT IN ART. 78 OF THE CONSTITUTION The municipalities shall manage their affairs independently as laid down by law The revenue sources of local authorities shall be determined by law, as well as their right to decide whether, and to what extent, they make use of them

14 MONITORING REPORT BY THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE CONGRESS OF LOCAL AND REGIONAL AUTHORITIES (2010) Overall assessment: The state of local democracy in Iceland is in compliance with the European Charter of Local Self-Government National and local authorities have made major efforts to deal with the financial crisis which significantly impacted them - without undermining local self-government

15 THE MUNICIPAL STRUCTURE 14 March 2013The Icelandic Association of Local Authorities15

16 Icelandic Association of Local Authorities DISPARATE MUNICIPALITIES Reykjavík is by far the largest municipality with inhabitants. The second largest, Kópavogur, has inhabitants. 63% of the total population live in the capital area. The same legal framework and responsibilities apply to all municipalities, regardless of their size. The four smallest municipalities have inhabitants.

17 Samband íslenskra sveitarfélaga – The Association of Local Authorities in Iceland 22 municipalities 13% of the population 20 municipalities 14% of the population 27 municipalities 10% of the population 1 municipality 39% percent of the population 7 municipalites 24% of the population THE PROPORTION OF MUNICIPALITIES AND INHABITANTS BY CONSTITUENCIES TO THE PARLIAMENT, ALÞINGI

18 MUNICIPAL INCOME SOURCES

19 MUNICIPAL INCOME TAX The municipal council determines annually the income tax level between 12.44% and 14.48%. The average tax level is 14.42%. The income tax is approximately 57% of the total municipal income.

20 THE ROLE OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES IN ICELAND Democratic role Service providers for the local population Public authorities Employers

21 RESPONSIBILITIES OF MUNICIPALITIES The social sector o Basic social and financial assistance o Child welfare o Services for people with disabilities The Icelandic Association of Local Authorities21

22 RESPONSIBILITIES OF MUNICIPALITIES Education, culture, sports and recreation oPrimary schools (6–16 years) oPre-schools (Kindergarten 2-5 years) oAfter school and summer holiday arrangements for children oLeisure activities, especially for young people and the elderly

23 RESPONSIBILITIES OF MUNICIPALITIES Education, culture, sports and recreation oMusic schools oSport facilities, culture centres, museums and libraries oSupport to local voluntary organisations such as art and theatre groups, sports clubs etc

24 RESPONSIBILITIES OF MUNICIPALITIES Local infrastructure and public utilities oBuilding, maintenance and operation of municipal streets, sewage, water and electricity works, as well as district heating oMunicipal planning and building inspection oPublic parks and open areas

25 RESPONSIBILITIES OF MUNICIPALITIES Local infrastructure and public utilities oSurveillance of public and environmental health oPublic transport oFire services oWaste management and collection oHarbours

26 DECENTRALISATION OF PUBLIC SERVICES Transfer of certain public services from the state to the municipalities are on the agenda: –Care for the elderly –Primary healthcare might be next The municipalities took over special services for persons with disabilities in The minimum size of service entities is 8000 inhabitants

27 MUNICIPAL EXPENDITURE (2011)

28 INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION Several municipalities, mainly the larger ones, have experience in international projects in some of the fields covered by the EEA/Norway Grants. The Icelandic Association of Local Authorities will facilitate contact with Icelandic municipal actors. The Icelandic Association of Local Authorities28

29 THANK YOU! Harpa Concert Hall Reykjavík The Icelandic Association of Local Authorities29


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