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OECD Territorial Reviews: Småland-Blekinge, Sweden 2012

image of OECD Territorial Reviews: Småland-Blekinge, Sweden 2012

The OECD territorial review of Småland-Blekinge presents an overview of recent trends, regional policies and governance arrangements of this region that is made up of four counties in South-East Sweden: Jönköping,  Kronoberg, Kalmar and Blekinge. The challenges include the need to facilitate a shift from the region’s historic specialisation in medium-low and low technology manufacturing towards more knowledge-intensive activities. This will require addressing the supply of human capital, improving connectivity and enhancing the attractiveness of the region. A regionalisation reform is now under discussion in Sweden with potential implications for Småland-Blekinge. Whatever the future administrative structure of Småland-Blekinge, the effectiveness of regional development policies and public service delivery will be directly related to strengthened interaction and co-ordination arrangements among the numerous actors and administrative units involved.

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Governance and co-operation in Småland-Blekinge

This chapter considers the multi-level governance arrangements that can support more efficient regional development policies in Småland-Blekinge. The promotion of economic development is currently characterised by excessive fragmentation, duplication and overlap. The lack of co-ordination among actors and programmes, the increasing mobility of people and businesses across administrative borders, and the relatively small size of the four counties may affect the capacity to articulate comprehensive development agendas. The regionalisation reform under discussion has potentially significant implications for Småland-Blekinge, but it needs to be considered within the broader framework of problems of multi-level governance. Whatever the future administrative structure of Småland-Blekinge, it will require the involvement and co-operation of different kinds of actors at different levels of government. The chapter first describes the governance structure of Småland-Blekinge and then analyses arguments to be considered when assessing the need for, and characteristics of, reform. Finally, it analyses a number of institutional and multi-level governance arrangements that besides the potential re-arrangement of the administrative borders in the region, could help to promote a coherent governance framework for regional development policies in the region.

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