Nordland is in area the second largest of Norways 19 counties. It is situated in the north of Norway, and has about 240 000 citizens. Bodø is the regional capital city, with 50 000 inhabitants.
The political system
The supreme political body is the County Council with its 53 representatives elected every fourth year by the inhabitants at the County- and Municipal elections. The County Council convenes five times per year to decide on regional issues.
A County Government consisting of six representatives is responsible for the daily governing of the county:
President of County Government: Tomas Norvoll (Labour)
Executive of Transport: Svein Eggesvik (Centre Party)
Executive of Education: Hild-Marit Olsen (Labour)
Executive of Finance: Knut Petter Torgersen (Labour)
Executive of Culture, Environment and Aase Refsnes (Socialist Left)
Executive of Economic Development: Ingelin Noresjø (Christian Democrat)
Chair of County Council: Sonja Alice Steen (Labour)
A county in growth, seizing the opportunities
Our vision is that Nordland shall be the best county in which to grow up, work and live. Nordland County Council provides important services to the inhabitants of Nordland:
- Upper secondary education
- Bus and boat transport.
- Regional planning and environmental issues
- Business development, innovation and international projects
- Dental services
- Public health issues
- Cultural experiences
The Department of Education is responsible for all upper secondary education in Nordland. This includes 16 schools with about 12 000 pupils and apprentices. About 1500 companies are approved for workplace training.
The County Council is responsible for the public bus- and boat infrastructure and maintenance of roads in Nordland. This includes school buses and amongst other things transportation services for people with disabilities.
• 440 busses in use, 7000 bus stops
• 4413 km of county highway
• 27 express boats and 22 ferries
Planning and environment issues
The protection and enhancement of the environment is one of the Council's main objectives. A clean, healthy environment which promotes and facilitates sustainable development is the legacy which we all must leave to future generations. The county council aims to provide clean energy. To achieve this, the council have approved several thematic regional plans, such as Nordland Regional Wind Energy Plan, Nordland Regional Small Hydro Power Plan etc. Municipalities, volunteers, associations, NGOs and business may apply for subsidies for environmental efforts from the County Council.
Nordland County Council focuses on challenges related to climate changes and emission reduction, and also works to ensure that local and regional planning take measures to meet the challenges of a changed climate.
Amongst Norwegian counties, Nordland is one of the largest exporters of raw materials, industrial goods, energy and fish products. Nordland County Council contributes to the development of local societies and business within the county. We co-ordinate joint efforts to develop good and exiting jobs for the inhabitants in Nordland.
• 65 % of export from Northern Norway come from Nordland
• Every tenth farmed salmon in the world comes from Nordland
• Helgeland has the second largest industrial cluster in Norway
• 70% of the Norwegian fishing fleet’s total catch is fished in Nordland
• Nordland is one of two counties in Norway with highest production of hydroelectricity
We wish to create a vigorous county with a growing population, economic growth, employment and welfare. In order to contribute to the development of business in the county, we focus especially on strengthening research and developement, innovation, entrepreneurship and infrastructure. Nordland County council is engaged in international cultural and commercial co-operation.
Dental health services
Nordland County Council 54 dental clinics throughout the county. A total of 250 employees with high professional standards provide dental services to the citizens of Nordland.
Nordland County Council works towards the goal that all inhabitants in Nordland shall be able to be physically active based on their own needs and circumstances. Modern life style poses the greatest present day challenge to good public health. A health- promoting and illness- preventing plan may reduce the risk for diseases like Diabetes type 2, heart diseases and cancer. We run preventive public health schemes directed at the entire population, with special focus on children and youth.
Culture is vital for peoples’ well being and development. Nordland County Council actively promotes diversity in culture in a wide field of expression. Our goal is that cultural experiences should be available to all inhabitants in Nordland.
Different departments are dedicated to promoting the performing and visual arts as well as cultural heritage including archeology, and we have special focus on imparting culture to children and young people. We run the County Library and Regional archive, and the Nordland College of Art and Film, the only public vocational college in Norway which offers two-year courses in art and film.
Furthermore, we provide support to a different cultural events: festivals, local cultural development and museums.
Nordland is rich in cultural life. Institutions that are well known internationally are the Viking museum Lofotr in Lofoten and the Hamsun Centre in Hamarøy.
The international project Artscape Nordland, has seen the creation of outdoor sculptures across 36 municipalities, by artists from 20 countries.
Ung i Nordland (literally, Young in Nordland) is Nordland County’s political secretariat which concentrates on issues which affect young people. The secretariat is made up of several sections whose common denominator is to work with and for young people. Among the most important are The Youth Council in the county and the Ombudsman for pupils and apprentices.
Nordland Youth Affairs Office has responsibility, for the Youth County Council and the counselling service Klara Klok.
International activities in Nordland County Council
Internationalisation affects policy development and administration at all levels; national, regional and local. The increasing globalisation provides possibilities and challenges. Nordland County Council is an active participant on the international arena using internationalisation as a tool to improve the region’s competitiveness and attractiveness.
Nordland County Council engages in international relations in several ways; through membership in international organisations, bilateral agreements with other European and Russian regions, and national networks that create a common platform for working internationally. Nordland County Council is one of the owners of NorthNorway european office in Brussels. These are the most important international tasks:
- Cooperating regions: Leningrad, Arkhangelsk oblasts in Russia and Veneto and Marche regions in Italy.
- European organisations: Assembly of European Regions (AER), Conference on Peripheral and maritime Regions (CPMR).
- Barents Cooperation: The Barents Regional Council, the Norwegian Barents Secretariat (beeing one of the owners).
- European cooperation: Interreg programmes (Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA), Baltic Sea, North Sea, Botnia-Atlantica, North) and Kola-arctic. Erasmus+ ( EU's programme for education, training, youth and sport). Nordland County Council is the national contact point for the NPA-programme.
- Nordic cooperation: MidtSkandia, Nordkalotten, Nordisk Atlantsamarbeid (NORA), Nordplus (lifelong learning). Nordland also participates i the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas-network (NSPA)
- International project: Cooperation in international projects as a partner or contributes with regional co-financing in other projects.
The County Council's International Office is responsible for coordinating the international affairs of the county. For more information contact Eilen Wibeke Bruun Zakariassen, Zdenek Dvorak or Eirik Fiva
Nordland – a rich county:
- 10 % of Electrical power in Norway is produced in Nordland (15 Twh)
- Saltstraumen is the strongest maelstrom in the world.
- The Svartisen glacier is Norway’s second largest glacier.
- The Nordland County flower is the Purple Saxifrage (Saxifraga oppositifolia)
- Stetind in Tysfjord is Norways national mountain
- The Nordland version of the national costume has been voted Norway’s most beautiful national costume.
- Nordland County Council was awarded the National Entrepreneurship Award in 2008.
- Nordland is Norway’s largest fish farming county.
- 65 % of the exports from Northern Norway derive from Nordland county.