Liberal Initiative wants to host the Institute for Housing and Urban Rehabilitation in Portimão

Party wants to transfer eleven headquarters of public bodies out of Lisbon

The Liberal Initiative (IL) delivered a bill to the Assembly of the Republic today aimed at transferring several public bodies from Lisbon to other parts of the country, namely Portimão. 

Maintaining that the State has to set an example and create career opportunities in various parts of the country, the liberals intend with this bill «to contribute to a country that is territorially more cohesive and recognize the importance of relocating the institutes that form part of the indirect administration of the State".

Deputy Carlos Guimarães Pinto, rapporteur for this project, said that «it is the State itself, in many circumstances, asking companies to relocate to the interior and other areas of the country. But what authority does the State have to demand this from these companies when it is the central State itself that concentrates all its bodies in such a short geographic space? That is what the Liberal Initiative wants to change with this bill».

The move of the headquarters of the Institute for Housing and Urban Rehabilitation to Portimão, the Institute of Vine and Wine to Vila Real or the headquarters of the National Communications Authority (ANACOM) to Viseu are some examples.

IL is also advancing with the move of the Directorate-General for Economic Activities and the headquarters of the Insurance and Pension Funds Supervisory Authority to Castelo Branco, headquarters of the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA) to Aveiro, from the headquarters of Alto Commissariat for Migrations to Setúbal, Directorate-General for Social Security for the district of Braga, Directorate-General for Sea Policy in Lisbon for Viana do Castelo, Directorate-General for Territory in Lisbon for Bragança and the Institute’s headquarters from Nature Conservation to Forests from Lisbon to Leiria.

According to the liberals, the relocation of public bodies from the capital to the rest of the territory fulfills the dual purpose of increasing the supply of buildings that can be transformed and adapted for residential purposes and of reducing the demand encouraged by the aggregation of public services lacking in human resources in the center of the country's largest city.

According to the report "Asymmetries and Regional Convergence: Implications for Decentralization and Regionalization in Portugal", prepared by the University of Minho, Portugal is one of the most centralist countries in the OECD.

«Regional disparity is visible when comparing, for example, the regional per capita GDP level of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area which, according to 2019 data, is higher than the EU average (102%) while the per capita GDP of the North region of Portugal is much lower (62%) than the average of the countries of the European Union or when considering the low percentage of public expenditure carried out at regional or local level (12%), when compared with the average of the other countries of the EU ( 33%)», says the party.

The Liberal Initiative believes that this concentration of power results from political choices and options over successive governments, choices that contradict the principle of deconcentration and decentralization of power and subsequent decision-making.