The new organic law of the Commissions for Coordination and Regional Development (CCDR) should be approved this Thursday at the meeting of the Council of Ministers to be held in Faro, revealed the Minister for Territorial Cohesion. “The discussion of the new organic law is scheduled [das CCDR] and the expectation is that it will be approved”, confirmed to the Lusa agency Ana Abrunhosa about the decentralized meeting of the executive scheduled for the Algarve capital.
As part of the “Closer Government” initiative, on Wednesday and Thursday several members of the Government will visit the 16 municipalities in the district of Faro, in a program with 60 initiatives.
The minister had already addressed the imminent approval of the new CCDR organic law at the presentation event of the case studies of the three Portuguese regions (Algarve, Center and Metropolitan Area of Lisbon) integrated in the project Rethinking regional attractiveness [Repensar a atractividade regional]developed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with the support of the European Commission, which took place this Tuesday at the University of Algarve, in Faro.
In November, the Council of Ministers approved a resolution that initiated the transfer and sharing of competences from regional State services to the CCDRs in nine areas (economy, culture, education, professional training, health, conservation of nature and forests, infrastructure -structures, land use planning and agriculture).
“The organic law has been discussed in the Council of Ministers. A proposal has already been presented in the Council for Territorial Concertation, (…) it was very well received by the members of the council. And now we are negotiating important things between different ministries. The approval of the statutes will follow, in which the new competences in the different areas will be much clearer”, added the Minister of Territorial Cohesion to Lusa.
According to Ana Abrunhosa, “whether in agriculture or in culture, the services become, in their entirety, part of the CCDR” and, afterwards, there will be attributions of certain services “that pass to the CCDR, maintaining that service of origin”, being It is also certain that the forest area will, in a first phase, be outside this lot.
The Minister for Territorial Cohesion stressed that the reorganization of the CCDR fits into a series of decentralization policies, including the transfer of competences to the municipalities, which contribute to a “multilevel articulation, very important” so that, when national public policies are implemented at the regional, results are achieved.
“It is the best way to achieve territorial cohesion, the best way to bring the decision closer to the problems and the best way to take into account, when we implement the measures, that those who make the decision are those who know the problem best and who are in best position to resolve it”, he maintained.
The consolidation of this multilevel articulation between the various spheres of public administration was one of the main conclusions of the presentation of the project’s case studies Rethinking regional attractivenesswhich led to a consensus with the presidents of the CCDR of the Algarve and the Centre, José Apolinário and Isabel Damasceno, respectively, and Nuno Bento, coordinator of the Lisbon Regional Dynamics Monitoring Body, representing CCDR/Lisbon and the Tagus Valley.
Claire Charbit, head of the Dialogue and Territorial Migration Unit at the OECD Center for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, told Lusa that the study aims to “provide tools” for those three Portuguese regions, out of a total of 15 analyzed at European level in this project, with the implementation of a methodology that made it possible to outline a simple picture of the priorities.
“Recently, we have had several shocks: with covid-19, with the war [na Ucrânia], with inflation, with rising prices. We need instruments for change that take into account not a vision divided sector by sector, but an integral vision. Define the priority we have to address and join all our forces, “he pointed out.
Regarding the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, the official considered that, “as in all wonderful places, there is a price to pay”, namely with the high price of housing. “Those who work in Lisbon cannot live in Lisbon”, she stressed.
“It has to be more inclusive and address housing issues. And it also has to take sustainability into account because, with the agglomeration of people, the preservation of natural capital and biodiversity is a challenge”, continued Claire Charbit, calling for a “better interaction with the neighboring regions”, since the great power of attractiveness of Lisbon “has to propagate and create an effect spill over [transbordamento] for the interior regions”.
Regarding the Centre, he pointed out as a priority the strengthening of investment in accessibility, namely in rail transport, in digitalisation. “It is also necessary to make the power of the university [de Coimbra] and the most impactful cultural capital in terms of economic result”, he added.
For the Algarve, the conclusions include the development of a “more diversified economic activity, in addition to tourism”, and the increase in incentives and promotion of the interior.