The City Council is the city’s supreme authority in terms of making decisions and allocating funds, and makes the final decision in cases, the so-called recommendations, from the City Executive Board. The City Council processes around 600 recommendations annually.
Link to more information on The City Executive Board
The City Council in Aarhus has 31 members. Every second Wednesday, meetings of the City Council are held in the City Council Hall. These meetings are open to the public.
The mayor chairs the meetings. At the beginning of a meeting, all cases on the agenda are reviewed to find out which cases can be decided ‘by the hammer’, i.e. that no members of the City Council have any comments on the case. The City Council then moves on to discussing the cases on which the members have comments. Some cases are considered behind closed doors, e.g. cases dealing with individual persons.
The City of Aarhus has seven permanent committees: One committee for each municipal department, although there are, however, two committees for the Department of Social Affairs and Employment.
Link to more information on the permanent committees
The City Council considers a wide variety of cases, but one of its key tasks is to establish the overall strategy for the municipality’s activities. This work is based on the so-called Aarhus model with comprehensive citizen involvement.
The City Council makes overall decisions within four areas:
The overall values for the municipality.
The interdepartmental policies such as integration policy, climate plan etc. In other words, often value-based decisions which apply to all activities in the municipality. These often long-term policies are continuously adjusted.
Sector policies and sector goals, e.g. cultural policy, which describe values and goals as well as very specific initiatives and projects. They cover a shorter period of time, often the term of office of the City Council, i.e. four years.
Goals for departments and institutions. These typically cover a period of one to two years and are linked to the department’s business plan. They very specifically describe what each activity area and institution must implement within the established time frame.