Maria Nimvik Stern
Secretary General
+46 70 548 13 02
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Start / A platform for municipalities and county councils

A platform for municipalities and county councils

The Council for the Stockholm Mälar Region is a membership organisation for county councils and municipalities in the Stockholm Metropolitan Area.

The Council serves as a platform for municipalities and county councils in the Stockholm Mälar Region but also, to an increasing extent, for collaboration between politics, the business sector and academia. The Council promotes common strategic goals within infrastructure and transport, as well as knowledge and skills development for a more sustainable, internationally competitive and attractive Region.

The Council was established in 1992 by regional politicians, for closer cooperation between the regions and municipalities of the Stockholm Mälar region.

The secretariat is led by Secretary General Ms. Maria Nimvik Stern.

  • 43% of the Swedish population live in the region, i.e. 4.3 million inhabitants.
  • 49% of the Swedish GDP is generated in the region.
  • 48% of the country’s companies are located here.
  • The Stockholm Mälar Region is the biggest labour market in Sweden with 45% of the work opportunities in the country.
  • 31 out of 49 Swedish higher education institutions (HEIs) are located in the region.
  • 45% of the 25-64-year-olds in the region have completed post-secondary education.
  • The region accounted for 52% of housing construction in Sweden 2012–2017.
  • In total, goods are exported from the region at a value of 530 billion SEK.
  • 8 out of 10 train trips in Sweden begin or end in Stockholm. The region is a vital part of Sweden’s infrastructure and transport system.

We compare and learn from other regions in Europe

The international and comparative perspective in the activities of the Council helps to better perceive the Stockholm Mälar Region’s strengths and weaknesses. One way to do this is by comparing and learning from other metropolitan regions.

The Council monitors and compares the region’s development, with a special focus on transport and infrastructure and knowledge and skills. The objective is to ensure that the Stockholm Mälar Region stays internationally competitive and attractive into the future. To achieve this, we must take advantage of our strengths and recognise our weaknesses.

Every two years, the Stockholm Mälar Region selects a leading metropolitan region to pay closer attention to. We gather knowledge, organise a study trip and follow up on the experiences and learning at home. The trip is aimed at leading representatives from politics, academia and business, and approximately 45 people take part in it. The objective is to strengthen cooperation in the Stockholm Mälar Region and promote the development towards a sustainable, attractive and competitive metropolitan region. Previous destinations:

  • Vienna 2022
  • Manchester 2020
  • Berlin 2018
  • Amsterdam 2016
  • London 2014
  • Munich 2012
  • Helsinki 2010
  • Singapore and Kuala Lumpur 2008
  • Dublin 2007
  • Seattle 2005

The Council has also been a member of the International Regions Benchmarking Consortium (IRBC) together with Barcelona, Belo Horizonte, Daejeon, Fukuoka, Helsinki, Melbourne, Munich, Seattle, Stockholm and Vancouver. These are knowledge-driven and city-centred metropolitan regions with a mutual interest to compare and learn from each other through data-sharing and in-depth research. The memberships gave access to current statistics from comparable regions with high positions in international rankings, as well as from a wide range of international contacts.

The Council has also hosted an international conference in 2016. The topic was cooperation between cities and universities, UniverCITY – key ingredients for successful partnerships. The event contributed to new ideas about strengthening the work of the Stockholm Mälar Region as a knowledge region.

Joint vision for the transport system

An efficient transport infrastructure in the Stockholm Mälar Region is not only important for Swedish jobs and businesses; it is equally important for Sweden’s trading partners.

The Stockholm Mälar Region is Sweden’s “doorway to the world.” Large portions of the country’s freight goods and business-related trips either pass through the region or have the region as their destination. The region enables trade, travel and growth in all parts of Sweden. Indeed, an efficient transport infrastructure in the Stockholm Mälar Region is not only important for Swedish jobs and businesses; it is equally important for Sweden’s trading partners.

The cross-regional cooperation between the counties in the Stockholm Mälar Region enables better utilisation of the region’s collective resources and investments and paves the way for international competitiveness. By linking the labour market, education and housing markets in the Stockholm Mälar Region, businesses and their partners as well as customers and employees can reach each other. Freight transports can move goods to, from and through the region. And people can more easily travel to their place of work or education and family inside the region and abroad.

The Stockholm Mälar Region has rallied behind a joint vision for the transport system for the Stockholm Mälar Region – the System analysis for The Stockholm Mälar Region. Since 2003, the project has developed into a strong and historically unique process between politicians from seven counties in the region with the support of civil servants and many collaborating organisations. The aim is collective action around common priorities for the infrastructure and transport system in the Stockholm Mälar Region. The report places special emphasis on giving the whole region good international accessibility.

On an EU level, the Council for the Stockholm Mälar Region coordinates joint responses to the European Commission from the seven regions regarding the development of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).

Knowledge-driven region

The Stockholm Mälar Region is a knowledge-driven region, with highly ranked and competitive universities and research facilities, a well-educated population, and a knowledge-intensive business community.

However, the globalised economy demands constant renewal. We are faced with an increasing need for a qualified and skilled workforce as well innovative companies and people.

By seeking collaborations and building networks and relationships throughout the region, with the public and private sector and academia within the fields of knowledge/skills development and innovation, the Council aims to meet these challenges and contribute to the sustainable growth of the Stockholm Mälar region.