Municipalities warn of need to cut red tape to obtain EU funds

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The president of the National Association of Portuguese Municipalities (ANMP) today warned that Portugal must have less prior control and more successive supervision in terms of European funds to avoid getting stuck in “administrative networks”.

At the ANMP seminar on local finances and European funds held in Matosinhos, in the Porto district, in the presence of the Minister for the Presidency, Luísa Salgueiro highlighted the “enormous bureaucratic constraints” facing municipalities.

“Madam Minister [of the Presidency], even with a lot of political will and great technical support, qualified like the one we have, it’s not easy given the enormous constraints we have, successive bureaucratic steps, successive moments of prior control,” said the socialist, who also chairs Matosinhos City Council.

The mayor believes that Portugal needs less prior control and more successive supervision, because otherwise it gets lost in this “web of red tape”.

A situation which, he added, does not allow the country to move forward.

For Luísa Salgueiro, the role of municipalities in European funds is very important because it is they who, from the outset, are able to analyze needs more closely and understand how investments transform people’s lives.

“We are essential partners in identifying needs and indispensable in implementation”, he concluded.

Asked about the ANMP President’s appeal, the Minister for the Presidency assured that the government has done everything possible to reduce bureaucracy in community funds, while trying to maintain a “virtuous balance” between transparency and efficiency.

“Everything we can do to reduce bureaucracy, we have done,” he assured.

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