County councils of Sweden
A county council (Swedish: landsting) is a self-governing local authority and one of the principal administrative subdivisions of Sweden. There are 20 county councils, each corresponding to a county. County councils are governed by a county council assembly (landstingsfullmäktige) that is elected by the county electorate every four years in conjunction with the general elections. The most important responsibilities of county councils are the public health care system and public transportation.
Within the same geographical borders as the county councils, there are county administrative boards, an administrative entity appointed by the government. Landsting, the Swedish term for the county councils as that of the former supreme tings of the historical provinces of Sweden. As of 2010, the different county council assemblies had a combined total of 1,696 seats.
Constitutionally, the county councils exercise a degree of municipal self-government provided by the Basic Laws of Sweden. This does not constitute any degree of federalism, which is consistent with Sweden's status as a unitary state.
Within the geographic boundaries of the county there are also several smaller municipalities and administration that exercise local self-government independent of the county councils. These can also be referred to as "primary municipalities" or primärkommuner, while the larger county councils are sekundärkommuner, "secondary municipalities". The island of Gotland is an exception, due to its geographical boundaries, as Gotland Municipality also has the responsibilities of a county council.
Historically, Stockholm was separate from counties and was not under the jurisdiction of the Stockholm County Council until 1967, and some other large cities were in counties but outside county councils. The cities handled the responsibilities. The two last such cities were Malmö and Göteborg until 1998. Gotland still is without county council.