Progresses and setbacks on the road towards decentralization

The magazine Catalan International View has published in its spring issue the article Decentralization Gains Ground. Following the main topic of the articles published in this edition n.17 under the title Visions of a new emerging state, the president of the Council of Barcelona, ​​Salvador Esteve, highlights the main keys of decentralization as a growing phenomenon and the need to implement the principle of subsidiarity. In times of crisis, the application of this principle leads to the optimization of resources and to most real and effective identification of citizens’ needs.

States are being increasingly committed to the implementation of decentralization policies (Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay and Costa Rica, in Latin America; Morocco and Tunisia in the Arab World) and the interest in issues related to decentralization is increasing: data on the Committee on Decentralization and Local Autonomy website visits, which have doubled over the last year, is a clear example on this.

Furthermore, in Catalonia, the data indicates that local authorities have neither been responsible for the debt nor for the deficit in public administration’s budget. However, the article highlights the setbacks in Spain regarding the application of decentralization processes. A clear example of this is the adoption of the Spanish Law on the Rationalization and Sustainability of Local Government, which plans to rationalize organizational structure based on principles of efficiency, stability and financial sustainability, but without taking into account the principle of subsidiarity in delivering local services.