The government will amend the Popular Initiative Law for future generations

The government will amend the Popular Initiative Law for future generations

Palma“We had to do a long campaign, go to all the cities, to the streets, to every island, fill places, collect 12,000 signatures.” With these words, former Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Amadeo Corbera, defended the first social welfare law for present and future generations in Parliament. It is a rule promoted by the environmental group and other entities, which, at the end of the last period of the Charter, became the first popular legislative initiative (ILP) for Balearic democracy to be approved. The People's Party voted against it and plans to change it now that it is in power. It is expected to do so through the Omnibus Law – a wide-ranging rule – for administrative simplification announced by the Deputy Chief Executive, Anthony Costa, during the budget debate.

According to sources in the Ministry of the Presidency, the government “agrees with the objectives of the law,” but considers that it was “processed too quickly” and its content should be discussed again in Parliament. In this regard, they indicated that a “comprehensive legal study of the text” will be conducted before determining the changes that will be introduced, and the amendment will be open for discussion by all parliamentary blocs. However, executive sources consulted indicate that the reform, which has not yet been finalized, aims to eliminate “redundant bureaucracy” and the “obstruction” of administrative activity it can generate. The same sources point out that Al Qaeda is “another one” that “perpetuates the administration’s actions.”

The law was approved in the last plenary session of the previous legislature, in March 2023. But although it has entered into force, the regulations have not yet been developed. The text, which saw the light with the support of PSIB, MÉS per Mallorca, MÉS per Menorca and Unides Podem, is based on a pioneering law approved in Wales (United Kingdom) in 2015, and aims to conduct an analysis in light of the future of current public policies. It introduces a new concept into the legal system of the Balearic Islands: “intergenerational justice”.

The rule stipulates that the administration must prepare reports on the impact on the future of the region to accompany certain large-scale projects. The article specifies: procedures for drafting regulations, regional plans, sectoral master plans, public sector works contracts of 5 million euros, strategic support plans of 1 million euros, and announced projects of public interest or public benefit, including industrial projects of strategic or regional interest. .

“The well-being of current and future generations will only be possible if we ensure that public bodies and any private actor take into account (…) negative externalities for all their actions and strategic planning,” the statement of reasons indicates to the law.

The rule has not yet been published

In the same sense, the law stipulates the establishment of a committee that has not yet been formed. The regulations define it as an advisory body, which must receive these reports and express an opinion on them. In the event that the Authority expresses a negative opinion regarding the project, the entity responsible for the project may “provide alternatives to modify and mitigate” those aspects that have a “negative impact on the well-being of current and future generations.”

It was also decided that the body would be independent, despite its affiliation with the Ministry of the Presidency, and that its members would be chosen by Parliament. According to sources consulted by ARABalears, the reform of regulations proposed by the executive could also reduce the powers of this committee, although it has not been determined how or to what extent at the present time. Popular Party sources indicate that for conservatives, it is a body outside the government and should not have the authority to determine public policies.

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In discussing the vote for the Independent Labor Party, the People's Party's parliamentary spokesman and current deputy prime minister, Anthony Costa, criticized the organisation. “They know the saying, ‘If you want to solve a problem, appoint a responsible person; if you want the problem to continue, appoint a committee?’” he asked during the plenary session, the last of the political year, in which he also accused the obstacles imposed by reporting. Provided by law. Administration . “Are they aware of the number of things that need to be made? It could be in the hundreds or thousands,” he noted. The Conservatives also criticized at the time that the treatment was done expressly to enable the rule to be approved before the end of the legislature, while Vox, for its part, warned that if it joined the government He will repeal it. However, this measure is not part of the governance agreements between the PP and Vox.

Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Margalida Ramis, rejects the criticism directed at the People's Party, stressing that other similar reports are already being prepared on climate or the impact of public policies on gender. “It does not delay the administration, because it is designed for big plans and projects. The idea is to overcome political short-termism.” In the same sense, he emphasizes that the committee “does not condition” the activity of the government or Parliament: “It can issue a report, which means that amendments can be proposed and the issue can be included in the social debate, but it is not binding.” Thus, he criticizes that although the text was processed “quickly”, neither Vox nor the People's Party showed “particular interest in working on it”. Despite this, he welcomes the fact that the government does not want to abolish the law and is open to reform agreed with other parties: “We hope it will not be decaffeinated.”

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Goal: simplify management

Vice President Costa defended the need to simplify administrative procedures in the last plenary session before Christmas. In this spirit, he announced the preparation of the omnibus law for the first half of 2024. It will be a provision worth five million euros and will also promote the digitalization of the administration. According to informed sources, this law may affect a large part of the regulations related to the procedural aspect of the public sector. The executive's plan is to form a committee to analyze how the rule will be implemented, made up of representatives from ministries and island councils, as well as various subcommittees and sub-working groups.

12,000 signatures of support

The parties pushing – led by the Government of Bangladesh – for the Social Welfare for Present and Future Generations Law submitted it to Parliament with 12,000 signatures. The standard has been formulated taking into account international provisions related to sustainable development. Especially the Rio Declaration, which was adopted in 1992 within the framework of the United Nations Conference. According to the rule, legislation must take into account the principles of sustainable development, citizen participation, transparency, precaution, prevention, dignity of life, environmental dependence, diversification, public interest, non-regression, and others. The role of the Balearic Islands in relation to environmental legislation has also been highlighted through laws on climate change and energy transition, and with the declaration of a climate emergency.

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