Financing, demography, civil protection … the agreements of the VI Conference of Presidents

 

 

VI Conferencia de Presidentes

General view of the meeting of the VI Conference of Presidents. Juan Carlos Hidalgo / EFE

They have had to spend more than four years so that the Senate returns to be the scene of a new Conference of Presidents . With the appointment of this Tuesday, the head of the central Executive and the autonomic leaders, as well as those of Ceuta and Melilla, recover the multilateral dialogue and the great agreements between administrations.

The idea is that in this meeting, which is attended neither by the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, nor the Lehendakari , Iñigo Urkullu, will sign a dozen agreements on different issues .

Some of the pacts are initially closed because they have been negotiated in previous meetings over the last few weeks and almost all of them have concrete deadlines. The strategy on demography, for example, should be done throughout the year and the National Civil Protection Commission, before the end of March.

Financing and dependence

The most important issue is territorial financing, design a new system that replaces the one in force since 2009 and that should have been reformed in 2014 . The prepared draft agreement states that in a month there will be a commission of experts to discuss a proposal, which Treasury sources believe could be ready before summer. However, it is difficult to hazard deadlines to a process that almost all parties involved are arduous and complex .

This reform is a demand of all communities, which also agree on the need to ensure sufficient resources for Health, Education and Social Services, with special attention to the Unit. On this last aspect, many regions complain that they pay more than 50% that they should assume. The Government admits that this chapter be studied, but also others that the State co-finances, such as disability or housing policies.

The reform of the financing model is a demand of all the communities The conclusions reached by the commission of experts will be taken to the Fiscal and Financial Policy Council for its approval and afterwards, they will have to be translated into a project to reform the Law Organic Funding of Communities, which will be sent to Congress. The norm will require for its approval an absolute majority , which will force the PP to negotiate with other formations.

The president of Andalusia, Susana Diaz , will ask at this point to put “a maximum ceiling and a minimum cap” on taxes ceded to the autonomies, such as Heritage and Probate, and to establish a financing of public services as the average cost of provision. The Andalusian Executive, which claims to be “underfunded by an average of one billion euros annually,” claims that this reform of the system begins “already.”

For its part, the president of the Valencian Regional Government, Ximo Puig , has come to the conference with the intention of asking that the reform of the regional financing system be closed next September and that it be retroactive to 2014, and has claimed to restructure or cancel the debt corresponding to the underfunding. It has also defended the need for an agreement on investment in infrastructure, analyzing the existing delays that do not respond to any technical logic, as occurs with the implementation of the Mediterranean Railway Corridor. Its objective is to alleviate the state infrainvestment in the Valencian Community.

The Spaniard Miguel Angel Revilla relies on an agreement to guarantee the effective cost of public services within the system of regional financing, because it is “something elementary” that any citizen, living where life, is entitled to the same benefits , ” even though its cost is not equal in all the territories of Spain “. Revilla will also defend a fairer distribution of the deficit target between the central and regional administrations.

In similar line, from Madrid, its president, Cristina Cifuentes , advocates a “new fair model,” that “does not penalize the people of Madrid” and that ensures that all communities have resources to provide essential public services in homogeneous conditions. This regional executive is committed to achieving a Pact for Health that guarantees equity and sustainability of the National Health System, to address issues of financing, access to high-cost drugs, technological renovation, service portfolio or waiting lists.

Demographic imbalance

The Government is committed to developing this year with the communities a national strategy against aging, the depopulation suffered by many territories and the effects of the floating population, according to the draft of another of the agreements. From the Conference will come the promise of drafting a National Strategy to face a delicate situation.

The Executive is committed to developing a national strategy against aging, depopulation and the effects of the floating population. This document has worked especially Castilla y León, Aragón and Galicia , especially affected by this problem, but also has the contribution of Balearic Islands as one of the regions that suffers the opposite situation: a massification at specific times for tourism.

The Aragonese Government points out that aging, depopulation and dispersion must have a “special impact” on the financing system because the cost of public services “becomes much more expensive” .

The solution to the demographic imbalance, according to the draft, requires a national strategy with measures to support families, young people, integration of immigration and rural development.

Galicia, for example, aspires to give a “greater boost” to the programs of promotion of the birth rate and to “put the subject of demography in the national focus”.

Officials

Another relevant issue for several communities, for example for Castilla-La Mancha, is the one that refers to how to recover the replacement of officials who retire and whose gaps have not been covered in the years of economic crisis, except in basic services.

The draft prepared ensures that you want to strengthen public templates and that the needs of each community will be analyzed, without further details. The objective is “the balanced and sustainable strengthening of the personnel in the whole of each Administration”.

This agreement also includes the guarantee that work will be “loyally and jointly” in order to enhance the geographical and functional mobility of officials between administrations.

Education and employment

The Conference will also approve an agreement so that the regions participate in the educational debate , contributing proposals in the General Committee of Communities of the Senate, which will hold a monographic debate on this issue.

The Conference will also approve an agreement for the regions to participate in the educational debate. At the request of the autonomies, another agreement on employment has been included, which includes issues such as a commitment to modernize public services, and the promotion of vocational training and policies for young people.

Cifuentes, for example, will put on the table the need to reach a great national pact that brings together the consensus of all educational agents and of society as a whole.

In this sense, Aragón has been one of the communities that has recalled its rejection of the Lomce and the need for that pact.

Social helps

Attendees at the meeting will agree on the other hand the creation of a social card that collects the aid that each citizen receives from all administrations and that is key to access the Registry of Public Social Benefits. Within three months a working group will be created.

An agreement on the electric bond has also been agreed.

European affairs

Among the agreements reached is also the commitment that the autonomies participate in the affairs of the European Union and in making community decisions, many of which affect them.

Andalusia will state that “Spain leads in Brussels a decent response to the humanitarian crisis of refugees with sensitivity, empathy and cooperation, against the cruelty of recent times.”

Civil protection

The presidents will also agree on the creation of a Civil Protection Commission in which all administrations coordinate and provide means to deal with emergencies.

An annual Conference

The appointment will also serve to determine the proper functioning of the conclave, which should be organized once a year .

The president of Extremadura, Guillermo Fernández Vara, and the one of Asturias, Javier Fernández, share the criterion that an organ of this type should be included in the Constitution .

The modification of the regulation of the Conference contemplates that there is a follow-up commission that ensures compliance with the agreements reached.

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