The local elections are on Tuesday and it looks like the cool decision is not to vote. It’s like everywhere I turn there’s someone arguing that local politics has no actual impact on people’s lives, that democracy is broken, and that we will end up being run by the same bunch of technocrats regardless of how we vote.
They are wrong. True, a majority of legislation is set by the EU, which is implemented by the government that, in turn, tightly controls how and what councils and regions should spend their money on. But the fact is that Denmark’s 98 councils and five regions do have power to influence our lives, setting income tax rates, health care policies, traffic policy and unemployment services. For a more comprehensive list of their powers, read this.
How it works
Copenhagen City Council is responsible for around 550,000 people, has a budget of around 45 billion kroner and is controlled by 55 elected representatives in seven separate administrations. Control of the administrations – economy, integration and employment, traffic and environment, culture and leisure, children and youth, social affairs, health and care – is divided between the different parties after the election depending on how they well they do. Read more →