Position of Municipalities on transfer of competences sent to the Government «until 8 or 9 February»

The National Association of Portuguese Municipalities (ANMP) will send the Government, "until 8 or 9 February", its […]

The National Association of Portuguese Municipalities (ANMP) will send to the Government, "until 8 or 9 February", its opinion on the decentralization of powers from the central power to the municipalities, announced today in Portimão the president of ANMP.

Manuel Machado, who was speaking to journalists towards the end of a long ANMP Board of Directors, said that, from this meeting in Portimão, "a preliminary opinion" will be issued. “We will then go to the General Council, convened for the beginning of February”, the body from which ANMP's final position will then emerge, based on the opinion of the Board of Directors, but adding what the General Council wants to add.

The leader of the Portuguese Municipalities also defended that the process of transferring competences should be brought forward. "The transfers of competences must be discussed with a deadline that we understand to be that of the legislature [2019], there is no need to go until 2021", as the Government intends.

The Government has already presented its proposal for a Framework Law for the Transfer of Competences to Local Authorities and to Intermunicipal Entities, which Manuel Machado calls the “hat law”, that is, the general framework, which provides for the transfer to municipalities, parishes and inter-municipal communities, with competences in matters as varied as education, health, social action, transport, culture, housing, civil protection, or even bullfights, games of chance or food security, among others.

But this transfer of responsibilities must be accompanied by technical and financial conditions, defends the ANMP.

Manuel Machado underlined that the «transfer of competences has to be structured in a precise, concise and exact way», since the municipalities have to «know exactly what the central State proposes to transfer to the autarchies», evaluating «the content of the mission what one wants to achieve, but also the means to achieve it».

In addition to financial resources, an issue that the municipalities want to be very well clarified, in black and white, there are also technical conditions. Manuel Machado defended that, «in conjunction with this process, there is a need to review the Local Finance Law and its limits, as a result of the Troika laws, which prevent the recruitment of human resources, in adequate quantity and quality for the new missions that will be decentralized'.

It is essential that "things are clear right from the start, so that there are no misunderstandings, excuses or blame," he stressed.

“We are available for this new attribution of competences, provided that guarantees are given that the process takes place with this negotiating loyalty”, stressed the president of ANMP.

Isilda Gomes, president of the Portimão Chamber and the only Algarvian mayor who is part of the ANMP Board of Directors, also present at the meeting, told the Sul Informação that «Algarvian mayors, like all mayors, are available to accept the skills that have improved the provision of services to our fellow citizens».

"What we all want is decentralization, transferring a power of proximity to the municipalities", concluded the mayor.


Photos: Portimão City Council