Vestfold Og Telemark, Norwegian County

Vestfold og Telemark (Urban East Norwegian: [ˈvɛ̂stfɔɫ ɔ ˈtêːləmɑrk]), lit. Vestfold and Telemark in English, is the southernmost county in Eastern Norway that consists of two distinct and separate traditional regions, the former counties of Telemark and most of Vestfold. The capital is Skien, which is also the county's largest city. While Skien is the capital of the county municipality, the seat of the County Governor is Tønsberg. It borders the counties of Viken, Vestland, Rogaland and Agder. Telemark voted against the merger, on the basis that the regions have nothing in common and do not constitute a natural geographical, cultural, social or political entity. Regardless, the Storting voted on 7 January 2018 to merge the counties by force, and the merger took effect on 1 January 2020. Unlike Telemark or Vestfold, it does not form a traditional or cultural region, but is instead administrative. On 15 February 2022, the county council decided to vote for the future of Vestfold og Telemark county as it was reported that politicians did not co-operate well across the former county borders. With 42 votes against 19, the county council voted for a separation of the county into its former counties of Telemark and Vestfold. Representatives to the respective county councils will be elected in the 2023 local elections and the old counties will be re-established by 1 January 2024.