Edition 1496
13 October 2018
Edition: 1496

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Coming year decisive for decentralisation of powers

in News · 20-12-2017 14:30:00 · 1 Comments

Next year could be a defining year for Portugal’s councils as the matter of shifting powers away from central government and to local authorities will be brought back to the table, after being postponed to give way to this year’s local elections, in October, and for the 2018 Budget to be drafted.

Coming year decisive for decentralisation of powers

With both major events now done and dusted, the issue of decentralising powers to local authorities will once again be back on the agenda.
According to observers, councils could see a “decisive opportunity” in 2018, after the President gave his blessing for the topic to be resurrected; saying the coming year will be “a good year” for a reform that the Government wants to achieve “with all parties.”
The matter of devolving competencies to local authorities and inter-municipal entities has been submitted for consideration by a parliamentary work group, which decided to suspend talks until after October’s local elections.
However, the government has negotiated a set of 23 legislative acts for the transferral of powers, and has prepared a preliminary draft for a new Local Finances Law.
The government’s suggestion proposes transferring decision-making powers regarding education, health (primary and continuous care), social agendas, transports, culture, housing, civil protection, public safety, air and maritime ports and forest management, among others, to local councils.
This has been described as a need of “national proportions” both in the resolutions of the 23rd Congress of the National Association for Portuguese Municipalities (ANMP), which took place in Portimão, Algarve, at the start of December, and by the National Association of Parishes (Anafre).
Over 800 congressmen took part in the ANMP yearly assembly, and unanimously agreed that decentralisation, local finances, and post-2020 Community funds “are essential for building a more modern, cohesive and more inclusive Portugal.”
Speaking at the closure of the congress, Portugal’s President, Marcelo Rebeo de Sousa, warned decentralisation is “for the people and not for the politicians, to correct inequalities in the country”, and said that 2018 is “a good year” to clarify the transfer of competencies as no elections will be held.

Comments

The big question is , are people in local authorities capable of doing the job , honestly and correctly , and are they technically competent to take many decisions , many people have their doubts .
The real way to get change is to make politicians at all levels legally accountable in a court of law for their decisions and actions , and all posts made with limited terms .
by PG from Lisbon on 01-01-2018 02:48:00

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Edition 1496
13 October 2018
Edition: 1496

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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