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How many municipal functions can be performed under IMC?

From Municipal Cooperation

Understanding IMC
When is IMC relevant?
What are the different areas of IMC?
What are the benefits of IMC?
How many municipal functions can be performed under IMC?
How many municipalities can be involved in IMC?
What are the different possible legislative contexts for IMC?
What are the most common legal forms of IMC in Western Europe?
How is IMC financed?
What are the potential negative side effects of IMC?

Several municipalities frequently jointly perform one specific service for which IMC is specifically established, which is referred to as single-purpose IMC; however, multi-purpose IMC is also very common. In the Netherlands, single-purpose IMC is much more frequent than multi-purpose IMC. In Spain, however, 43 percent of mancomunidades have a single purpose, while 57 percent deliver between two and thirty services; on average, the Spanish mancomunidades deliver five services. The most common services they provide are given in Table 2


Table 2: Most common services provided by the Spanish mancomunidades

Service areas % of mancomunidades

providing the service

Waste collection and water treatment 51.4
Water supply 29.7
Cultural activities 27.9
Social services 24.8
Tourism promotion 24.7
Economic development 22
Source: OECD (1999)


One of the advantages of IMC is that it is flexible and the number of services performed can change depending on evolving circumstances and needs. Municipalities often start to cooperate in providing one or a few services and then expanding to additional services as they get used to working together and build trust among themselves.