About Vestland County Council

While the term county (fylke) denotes the geographical area, the County Council (fylkeskommune) is the democratically elected body that provides a wide range of public welfare services.

Norway's public sector is comprised of three levels: the national government, the municipalities, and between them, the county councils.

Our responsibilities  

Vestland County Council has many areas of responsibility. Some of the main ones are:  

  • regional planning 
  • upper secondary education 
  • economic development and innovation 
  • culture, arts and sports 
  • dental care 
  • roads and public transport 
  • public health 
  • integration  

Political leadership 

The County Council is the highest political authority. It makes decisions on every important and fundamental matter involving the work of the County Council.  

The County Mayor of Vestland is Jon Askeland (Centre Party). Natalia Golis is the Deputy County Mayor (Green Party).  They were elected for a four-year term from 2019–2023. 

The County Executive Board is the County Council’s executive committee, but it also has the authority to make final decisions on a range of issues. There are also four standing committees, each of which is responsible for their specialist area: 

  • standing committee for culture, sport and integration 
  • standing committee for business 
  • standing committee for education and skills 
  • standing committee for transport and mobility 

Administration 

Vestland County Council has three administrative centres: Bergen, Leikanger and Førde. The administrative section is headed by County Chief Executive Rune Haugsdal and is split into these departments: 

  • department for infrastructure and roads 
  • department for innovation and business development 
  • department for culture, sport and inclusion 
  • department for mobility and public transport 
  • department for education and skills 
  • department for organisation and finance 
  • department for strategic development and digitalisation 

International collaboration 

International collaboration is important for the development of the county. Our aim is to make Vestland an attractive and innovative county and to give young people international skills and experience. 

We are part of Erasmus+, which is the biggest education programme in the world. It provides opportunities for internships, work placements, courses and participation in collaboration projects across Europe. 

Vestland County Council is a member of these international organisations: 

  • North Sea Commission 
  • Conference and Peripheral Maritime Regions 
  • Nordic Atlantic Cooperation (NORA) 
  • Euromontana  

We have collaboration relationships in place with six European regions: Orkney Islands, Cardiff, Normandy, Kaunas, Edinburgh and the State of Thüringen/city of Erfurt in Germany. Vestland County Council has a particularly strong focus on collaboration activities in the fields of culture and education.