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NEW SCANDANAVIAN BRIDGE LEADS TO JOINT COUNCIL IDEA

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Following the success of the Øresund Bridge linking Denmark and Sweden, the mayor of Copenhagen has proposed formin...
Following the success of the Øresund Bridge linking Denmark and Sweden, the mayor of Copenhagen has proposed forming a joint council between the regions either side of the bridge. The proposed elected council would have the right to levy taxes across the national borders.

Jens Kramer Mikkelsen believes that the bridge has made it unrealistic to talk of Copenhagen or Greater Copenhagen in ten years' time. 'Integration has really taken off toward a merged housing and labour market in the Øresund region, which is why we need a supervisory regional council,' he told the Berlingske Tidende newspaper.

Mr Kramer Mikkelsen's idea is backed by Carl Sonesson, the mayor of the Skåne region on the Swedish side. He thinks that integration will almost certainly happen in due course in any case, given that both countries want it. Now, he argues, 'it would be best to secure the region's necessary legitimacy with a direct popularly elected organ'.

The two sides set up the Øresund committee, made up of politicians from Copenhagen and Skåne, to reap the benefits of the bridge for local residents by making it easier to live and work on either side. The bridge was opened in July 2000.

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