Catalan Parliament demands the State include Decentralized Municipal Entities in the calls for European funding

The 'DUS 5000' funding programme line for singular local clean-energy projects excludes many Decentralized Municipal Entities, parishes and villages sharing a common local council

The Catalan Parliament approved a draft resolution by Esquerra Republicana on Thursday, defending the right of Decentralized Municipal Entities to opt for European funds. The resolution specifically requires the Spanish administration to make the necessary legislative amendments so that these entities may be eligible for lines of aid such as the DUS 5000 Programme for local clean-energy projects, as an instrument to stimulate demographic growth in rural areas, a real challenge. Or there should at least be programmes available with the same conditions throughout Spain, since Europe does not establish any specific type of population centres. The proposal received the broad endorsement of the Commission on Institutional Affairs, with the Catalan branch of the Socialist party ruling Spain abstaining.

“At Esquerra Republicana we understand that the social and economic recovery of Catalonia, which also includes aid from European Funds, must be channelled through the municipalities. And it must go through the municipalities with 140,000 inhabitants, such as Lleida, through towns with 5,000 inhabitants, and through the Decentralized Municipal Entities that do not make it to 1,000 inhabitants. In other words, the whole of Catalonia,” said Esquerra parliamentarian Jordina Freixenet.

The motion for resolution asserts that the Spanish legislative framework (Royal Decree 692/2021) does not provide for these entities to claim such aid, despite being self-governing legal entities with their own budgets and a chief officer elected by direct universal suffrage. In total, there are 65 such entities in Catalonia.