Municipalities of Sweden

Municipality (in Swedish kommun, therefore sometimes translated as community ) is the name of an administrative unit in Sweden as part of the administrative divisions of the country.

The German term community can lead to Missverstädnissen because the Swedish administrative system works differently and the Swedish municipalities have other tasks than German. In addition, in Sweden there is no division in cities and towns, so that the translation community for the Swedish kommun term may give the impression that it states that it is a municipal unit with a small population. But even the largest cities in Sweden, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö are in status to a kommun. From an administrative perspective, the Swedish municipalities are the LAU 2 equate. Historically, about a historic distinction according to the types of municipalities municipality ( stadskommun ), market town ( Linköping ) and local community ( landskommun ); it was abolished in the 1970s.

The largest municipalities, as measured by the population, on 31 December 2006 ( see also List of Swedish municipalities ):


The local self-government has its roots in the Middle Ages. It was the starting point for the first Swedish local government code of 1862, in which the country was divided into approximately 2,500 municipalities (cities, markets and rural communities ). A modernization of local government structure was carried out in several steps 1952-1971, in which the 2,500 municipalities were merged into 278 large municipalities and at the same time, the distinction between different types of municipalities was abolished. This was done primarily to secure the communities a sufficient population base for the implementation of municipal tasks in the local self-government, which was specifically mentioned the form of government in 1975 for the first time in the new constitution. After the local government reform of 1992, there are now 290 municipalities, which are usually made ​​up of villages and size as in the sparsely populated north of the country the size of German federal states (such as Saxony, Hesse and others) can achieve.

The parallel administrative division into parishes ( församling ), which existed until 1999, was abandoned with the separation of church and state in 2000.

Even in the local government code of 1862 a second municipal level has been established, still exists today: the county council ( swedish landsting). The County Council accepts municipal tasks, which exceeds the strength of individual communities, especially in the field of nursing.

Tasks in the context of local self-government

Local self-government is enshrined in the Basic Law for the form of government in 1975, and defined their competence in the Local Government Act of 1992. In addition, the Reichstag has the municipalities imposed by legislation compulsory administrative tasks, such as

  • Childcare
  • Education ( primary and secondary schools )
  • Social Services
  • Elderly Care
  • Care and welfare physically and mentally disabled people
  • Urban Planning and Construction
  • Emergency services, fire protection and civil defense
  • Environmental and health
  • Technical infrastructure ( power supply, water supply, sanitation, refuse collection, street cleaning, municipal road construction and maintenance, and others)

To better cope with certain tasks municipalities may form a local government association ( swedish kommunalförbund ) in which there is a regionally limited, municipal cooperation (eg for schools ).

Community organization

Each community has a decision-making body elected by the people, the local council ( swedish kommunfullmäktige ). The municipal council is elected every four years in general elections simultaneously with the county council and the Reichstag by proportional representation. The council elects the parish council ( swedish kommunstyrelse ) and its chairman and one or two alternates. The chairman of the municipal council usually receives a fixed salary ( kommunalråd ).

As the community organized their work, is left under the new Local Government Act itself. In any case, the local government committees ( swedish nämnd ) is organized nowadays - is followed by three different models - depending on the municipality:

  • The sector model ( division model), in which the committees each sector of the municipality reflect ( eg school committee, social committee, building committee and others)
  • The territorial model in which the community divides its territory in space-constrained devices and uses for this own committees (eg Stockholm, which is similar to Vienna, Berlin and other large cities divided into municipal districts ),
  • The buyer - exporter model, in which the community activity by buyers and exporters is organized according to a market economy principle (eg local council decides the line guides and timetables of city buses and makes a call for proposals on the various bus companies involved and the best bidder, the awarded the contract, has subsequently run the public transport line according to the requirements of the local council ).

In particular, the latter model has led to the outsourcing of certain services in municipally owned public limited companies. In many communities arrive depending on the field all three or at least two of the models used, especially a combination of sectors and buyer - exporter model is often encountered.

Municipal budget

The tasks of the community be funded at more than half through the collection of municipal income taxes. In 2006, the highest tax rate for the municipal income tax for municipalities and county was 34.24 % ( Dals - Ed Municipality ) and the lowest 28.89 % (municipality Vellinge ). In addition, the municipalities receive state subsidies (eg, load balancing ) and impose charges for certain services.

On the expenditure side, the largest areas are the school system (28 % of the gross cost ), elderly care and support of people with disabilities ( 27%) and childcare ( 13%).

Local advocacy

The Swedish municipalities are in the community association " Sveriges och kommuner landsting " ( SKL ) organized in the interests of their va to represent against the state. This community association was created 2003-2007 by combining " Kommunförbundet " and " Landstingsförbundet " who had previously represented the communities and local authorities. SKL is not authority, but a non-profit organization. In addition to its role of public relations and participation in the legislative process as reviewers they offer their members a complete service (including advice in legal, economic and administrative issues ). In addition to SKL, where all Swedish municipalities are represented, there are also regional associations of local authorities, such as the Association of Municipalities in the Stockholm region, " Kommunförbundet Stockholms län ".