Hernâni Dias, Mayor of Bragança and member of the Executive Committee of the Atlantic Axis, was present today in Pontevedra (Galicia), at the Conference of Presidents and Specialists – Post-Covid 19.
A meeting that brought together Presidents from 31 Municipalities, from Portugal and Spain, and several technicians from different thematic areas, with a view to claiming the fair redistribution of recovery funds and defining common policies for recovery from the crisis caused by the pandemic.
“Municipalities have developed, in their entirety, an essential role, both in combating the pandemic and in responding to its social and economic consequences”, considers Hernâni Dias, stressing that “intervention in the territories, in this very difficult period, cannot happen without a concerted strategy and fair planning for all, under penalty of accentuating the already existing regional asymmetries”.
“People expect, on the part of the Municipalities, a proactive reaction to this challenge and capacity for a coherent response, adjusted to the reality of each location”, says the President, concluding that, for that, “there must be a redistribution recovery funds and autonomy of action for those who best know the needs of each region, always with a view to cooperation between different territories”.
The conference brought to debate the crisis in which the world is immersed, as a result of the pandemic that highlighted gaps in society and new opportunities for growth. Thus, the Conference proposed not only to analyze the current situation, in a global and regional context, proposing proactive actions in the short/medium term but also discussed effective solutions for the future, based on three blocks: Employment and Economy, Social Policy, and City.
Job creation was one of the most discussed topics, as a factor of economic development, talent fixation, and attracting investment and population.
A debate in which several themes of action were presented, such as: Tourism and Services; Improvement of Digital Services; Mobility; Sustainable Urban Sustainability Plans; and in the Programming and Management of European Funds.
The document resulting from the debate and the ideas presented at this Conference will serve as a basis for the document that the Atlantic Axis will propose to the Governments of Portugal and Spain, to be included in post-pandemic reconstruction policies, both in terms of political management and in terms of financing.
At the same time, it will serve as a guide for cross-border matters that fall within the competence of the municipalities, seeking solutions in a joint and complementary way, thus avoiding the dispersion and duplication of efforts, at a stage where coordinated management is essential.
It is recalled that the Municipality of Bragança has an important role in the structure of the Atlantic Axis, where it is a Member of the Executive Committee and Chairs the Thematic Group on Tourism, one of the pillars considered fundamental for the recovery from the crisis.
The Atlantic Axis of the Northwest Peninsular, as an organized cross-border system, constitutes the third-largest urban area of the Iberian Peninsula, behind Madrid and Barcelona, and ahead of Lisbon.