Pärnu county local government territorial scenarios07.12.2022
On behalf of the local government union of Pärnu county and Pärnu county government, Geomedia conducted an analysis of local government territorial scenarios. Against the backdrop of the ongoing administrative reform, the administrative-territorial options for Pärnu county were explored on three dimensions: territorial amalgamation of local government units, the fragmentation of local government territory into municipality units and the territorial extension of local government cooperation. The logical and practical consequences of each option were evaluated, which formed the basis for weighting the suitability of the different scenarios in the context of the administrative reform. The evaluation consisted of four parts that focused on analyzing to what extent the scenarios of a) territorial amalgamation, b) fragmentation into municipality units, and c) extension of local government cooperation on county level are in accordance with the specific objective of the administrative reform and planning drafts concerning a center network in Pärnu county. Furthermore, d) the consistency of the territorial amalgamation scenario with the needs and possibilities for forming electoral districts was evaluated. Considering the objectives of the administrative reform, the scenarios consisting of local government amalgamation and the formation of municipality units cannot be treated as equal territorial alternatives. The main function of municipality units is to ensure enhanced community participation in local government activities of rural and urban municipalities, not to replace municipalities or cities as local government units. The prefered solution represents a situation where the amalgamation of local governments is based on core-periphery relations and territorial proximity. The analysis found that a core-periphery relation based local government amalgamation process could also result in the potential alteration of county borders.