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AML and municipalities propose negotiation process to the government to find new solutions under Portugal 2030

The Lisbon Metropolitan Area and its municipalities propose that the government quickly open a negotiation process to find solutions that mitigate and/or alter the proposal presented in the context of the Portugal 2030 public consultation.

The statement comes after observing and regretting the significant reduction in the volume of European Regional Policy funding in the region, which will fall from 817 million euros (PT2020) to 381 million euros (PT2030).

The proposed reduction reduces not only the capacity of the municipalities of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area to be agents for promoting development and cohesion, but also the capacity for action of the public services of the Central State, the business fabric and universities, in a framework of unacceptable inequity.

The Área Metropolitana de Lisboa and its municipalities have also noted and regret a further drop in the average co-financing rate of the POR Lisboa, from 50% in PT2020 to 40% in PT2030, which puts even greater financial pressure on the efforts of the region's public and private actors, and will exclude small and medium-sized enterprises, the social sector and locally-based organizations from access to the European Structural and Investment Funds.

The new solutions to be found should make it possible to strengthen funding for the region, through multiple financing instruments, such as the Lisbon Regional Operational Program (ERDF, ESF and Just Transition Fund), the Operational Program for Climate Transition and Sustainability (Cohesion Fund), the Recovery and Resilience Program, the State Budget, the European Investment Bank and others.

It is also regrettable that the Lisbon Metropolitan Area was not taken into account for the purposes of allocating the Just Transition Fund (FTJ).

There is also a lack of funding mechanisms aimed at mitigating intrametropolitan asymmetries and promoting interregional development with neighboring municipalities, and the absence of the EAFRD, as implemented in the PT2020 programming period.

The Área Metropolitana de Lisboa and its municipalities believe that the community funds available outside the scope of the POR Lisboa, namely those related to the Cohesion Fund and the Recovery and Resilience Plan, should reinforce the financial means for the region, in order to make up for the funding shortfalls of the regional program.

It is therefore regrettable for everyone that the decade of the greatest influx of European Funds into the country could be marked by a partnership agreement (PT2030) that does not do justice - in the AML - to the growth trend seen in the overall sources of European funding.

The Lisbon Metropolitan Area needs more investment to boost its important role of national and regional development and the structuring hub of the Lisbon and Tagus Valley Region.

The Lisbon metropolitan area, it should be remembered, is the main national urban area, with around 2.8 million inhabitants, representing around 36% of the Portuguese population, aggregated into 18 municipalities. According to an analysis carried out by the Agency for Development and Cohesion (AD&C), its performance in the European context over the last two decades has been marked by a persistent gap between the levels of social development and economic competitiveness of its European counterparts.

The Lisbon metropolitan area has seen its European position fall by 15% in relation to European GDP per capita, while the other Portuguese regions have seen an overall positive evolution since 2011.

Updated on 10/12/2021
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