Article i 'Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv' no. 3 2008, page 57-72.
Thomas Bredgaard og Flemming Larsen
These are fundamentally different tasks and duties than their predecessors, the regional labour market councils and local coordination committees. During the political preparation of the local government reform the main labour market organisations strongly criticised the planned steering structure. They argued that the new advisory structure would undermine the unique Danish tradition of administrative corporatism and the commitment and responsibility of the labour market organisations, which could potentially reduce the legitimacy of employment policies.
In this article we present data from a survey of all members of the new local employment councils (response rate, 52 %) and the secretariats of the councils (response rate, 77 %). The survey focuses on the actions and reactions of the local member representatives in the councils (representatives of the trade union confederation, employers association, municipal representatives, general practitioners association, disability associations etc.).
We ﬁnd that that there is some discrepancy between the sceptical attitude of the main organisations and their local representatives. Respondents suggest that there is a relatively good climate of cooperation, trust, and consensus in the councils, and that the councils have a relatively high degree of inﬂuence on local employment policies. Internally, it is mainly representatives of the trade union confederation (Danish LO) that are assessed as the most active and inﬂuential participants, while the employers representatives are less active and inﬂuential. Despite the relatively positive assessment of the internal functioning of the councils, the respondents tend to agree that the councils have difﬁ culties in ﬁ nding a distinctive role and platform in the intersection between increasing central state control and municipal autonomy.