Eastern Norway County Network
Eastern Norway County Network is a voluntary co-operation between eight counties in the south-eastern part of Norway: Akershus, Buskerud, Hedmark, Oppland, Oslo, Telemark, Vestfold and Östfold.
The counties have two basic aims for participating in the network :
to influence the development of the region, by making joint approaches towards decision-making bodies, especially such bodies on state or county level
to achieve better and more efficient solutions for matters within the responsibilities of the county, by division of work and joint projects
The network carries out those tasks which the counties agree to solve in common. These tasks may be of political or adminsitrative character.
ENCN in a nutshell:
The region is dominated by one large centre, Oslo
Three of the counties have almost no growth in
population, and in the rural parts of these counties
there is a decline in population
The population growth is concentrated to the
centre of the region and to the most urbanised
parts of the counties
Eastern Norway consists of the eight counties of Akershus, Buskerud, Hedmark, Oppland, Oslo (both is a municipality and a county.), Telemark, Vestfold and Östfold.
These counties together make up 30 per cent of the land area of Norway and, with a total of about 2.5 million inhabitants, have just half of Norwa y’s population. Eastern Norway is the national centre of gravity in terms of both population and commerce. During the last decades the increase in population in Eastern Norway has been a bit higher than in the rest of the country. The growth has been especially high in Oslo and Akershus. The region is also the hub for all transportation activities – on road, rail, by air and by sea. The city of Oslo is the capital of Norway.
From an international point of view, Eastern Norway is a small region, located in the outskirts of Europe. International competition is hard, and the competitive drawbacks confronting Eastern Norway are significant. Good infrastructure is important for the competitiveness of a region. The infrastructure of Eastern Norway is not satisfactory, neither nationally nor in an European perspective. In a Norwegian context however, Eastern Norway is a robust and attractive region. Trends within the region, however, differ, both between the counties and within many of them. Six of the counties are almost of the same seize regarding population, while two of the counties, Akershus and Oslo, are much larger.
Most of the urban settlements in Eastern Norway are located in a triangle with corners in the towns of Lillehammer, Skien and Halden. Due to the railway system of Eastern Norway, this area is sometimes called “the inter-city triangle”.
The greater Oslo, defined as Oslo and the urbanised part of the surrounding county Akershus, is the dominating centre of the region.
The greater Oslo area houses close to one million inhabitants. The second largest town of the region, which is Drammen, has about 63 000 inhabitants. The rest of the towns in Eastern Norway have from 15 000 to 50 000 inhabitants.
The aim of Eastern Norway as a region is to be a competitive and sustainable region in Europe.
Eastern Norway County Network has the Regional Co-operation Board as its highest body. Each county is represented at the Board with 3 members:
the Chairman of the County Council (in Oslo: the Chief Commissioner of the City Government)
the leader of the opposition
the County Executive (in Oslo: the Director General at the Chief Commissioner’s Department)
The Executive Committee is submitting recommendations to the Regional Co-operation Board. This Committee consists of the eight County Executives.
Political committees and administrative groups in different fields are carrying out most of the activities and submit proposals for the network’s annual action programme. The political committes consist of two representatives from each County Council and one from Oslo. The adminstrative groups are normally made up of the heads of the concerned field in each county. In addition to the permanent groups, separate project organizations can be established.
Permanent political committees and administrative groups exist for the following areas: transport and communications; education and competence; international co-operation.
Eastern Norway County Network has its own secretariat. The secretariat is a service and coordination body for the board, the committees and the various groups. The secretariat is located in the county administration of Akershus.
Schweigaards gate 4, Oslo
c/o Akershus fylkeskommune
Pb. 1200 Sentrum, 0107 Oslo