Reform of regional government
 

The purpose of this regional government reform is to harmonise the State regional administration with county government administration and to rationalise the organisation of public-sector administration at State, regional and municipal levels. As the primary solution, the Government Programme envisages the centralisation of functions into clear, autonomous regions – counties – in terms of tasks and authority.

The counties will take over some of the tasks of the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, Employment and Economic Development Offices, Regional State Administrative Agencies, regional councils and municipalities. The Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, Employment and Economic Development Offices and regional councils will cease to exist as from 1 January 2019.

All of the statutory duties handled by the regional councils will be transferred to the counties. Most of the duties of the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment will also be transferred to the counties. While some of these duties will still be performed by the central government, they will be reorganised. The responsibility for providing the services of the Employment and Economic Development Offices will be transferred to the counties. The organiser-producer model will be applied in providing these services. The counties in the main will agree on the provision of employment and economic development services with municipal, private-sector and third-sector producers that meet the criteria laid down in legislation.

The provision of rescue services and pre-hospital emergency care will be assigned to five counties that maintain a university hospital based on the counties´ collaborative catchment areas. All of the counties will organise the duties of rescue services and finance their provision.

The current six Regional State Administrative Agencies will be formed into a single authority with nationwide responsibilities. The new regional state authority will operate in regional units or offices. Environmental supervision and nature conservation, handled by the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, will be merged into the regional state authority.

In the reorganisation process, the need for personnel to move from one location to another will be minimised.