The ways in which the EU affects the municipalities vary across different policy areas such as environment, labour market, education and matters of financial support to local authorities.
Influencing EU policies and legislation is thus an important part of KL's operations. It is the responsibility of the EU-Office to organise and promote the interests of the Danish municipalities in the EU. The EU office is represented in Copenhagen and in Brussels. The office is organised around two main pillars:
- Influencing European policy and legislation in the EU institutions, local and regional fora, the Danish Parliament, the Danish European Affairs Committees and the Danish Government.
- Assisting KL's members in the Committee of the Regions and other EU fora.
Views on EU Policies
Environment, Energy and Climate
Danish municipalities are key actors in implementing EU’s policies on environment, energy and climate. Particularly, waste legislation is subject to EU influence, which is one of the central competences of the Danish municipalities.
Therefore, future revision of the waste directives and related policy areas such as the Circular Economy Package are of high interest to KL. Here you can read our position paper on the Circular Economy Package.
Labour Market and Employment Policies
With roughly 480,000 employees, the municipalities are the largest employer in Denmark .
EU has a great impact on the municipalities as an employer. A report issued by KL in 2018 concludes that 35 per cent of the collective agreements bargained between KL and the trade unions are based on an EU-directive or an EU framework agreement.
Therefore, KL lobbies the EU-institutions on legislative proposals affecting the Danish labour market and employment policies. At the moment, KL follows the European Commission’s Labour Mobility Package as well as the development of the social dialogue.
The Digital Agenda
The EU also affects the digital agenda of the municipalities. As a prime example stands The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
For the last four years, the GDPR has been a top priority in KL, as the original proposal presented by the European Commission would provide municipalities with major challenges - both administratively, financially and in relation to the municipalities as an employer.
In 2016, KL has a close eye on The Digital Internal Market as it also may have an impact on the municipalities administratively or financially.
Political Representation in European Organisations
KL is represented in the EU and other European organisations in order to coordinate political views and share experiences with other countries and municipalities.
An important task of the Brussels Office is to have meetings with different EU actors, co-operate with the local offices of its European sister organisations and the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR).
Moreover, our Brussels Office assists KL's members of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) in their efforts to influence the insitutions as regards matters of relevance to the municipalities.
Where are we located?
Our Brussels Office is located in the House of Cities, Municipalities and Regions. The domicile includes many local representations from other European countries, e.g. The Norwegian, Swedish, Finish and English local and regional associations and CEMR.
Here you find our Position Papers on different EU-initiatives.