Report on the new municipalities’ rural policies
As part of the institute’s performance contract with the Ministry of Social Welfare the institute has examined the rural policies of the new municipalities. The report’s results, which are based on an electronic questionnaire, will be part of the Ministry of Social Welfare’s contribution to the government’s 2009 Account of Rural Districts.
Of the 50 replies ( of 71 possible) it appears that 2/3 of the municipalities either have or are about to implement an actual rural policy. It is hardly surprising that the outer municipalities and municipalities with a low population density have done the most in this regard, while municipalities with a rise in population and city municipalities have not given rural policies a high priority.
Low expectations of development
The municipal employees generally express a certain pessimism in regards to maintaining and developing an attractive settlement environment in villages and rural areas. Even in municipalities with an expectation of a rise in population the positive expectation is only concerning the larger villages with more than 1,000 inhabitants.
A good and open collaboration
No matter how the municipalities have arranged the rural policies they experience that the collaboration with the inhabitants of the rural areas works well and is marked by good communication: in half of the municipalities formalized collaboration bodies have been established, for example around the work in the Local Action Groups.
All the municipalities have the rural area policy on the municipal agenda; there is only a difference in the progress made. But everyone states that they strive for a policy which allows for attractive settlement environments and that they wish to develop such environments on the basis of concrete, local observations and evaluations.
For the full report (only in Danish): Kommunalreformen og landdistriktspolitikken – en spørgeskemaundersøgelse.