European manna in the form of Millionaire funds are a great economic opportunity for administrations, as a mammoth is also the challenge for many institutions to apply for them. Money doesn’t come alone; you have to ask for it and manage it, a task that supposes an enormous bureaucratic task for the smallest: the municipalities of less than 5,000 inhabitants, with budgetary and personnel limitations.
These municipalities account for seven out of 10 in the Valencian Community, 388 of the 542, and note the lack of technical personnel, such as architects, secretaries or administrative workers, who end up being the ones who develop these plans that are presented to Brussels. “We are saturated in the technical area”, admits Vicente Monzó, mayor of Macastre, with 1,200 inhabitants, who considers “essential” the entry of this economic injection into the local coffers.
There are municipalities that have created their own office or that choose to hire a private company to channel these aid, something that small municipalities like Macastre cannot afford. “With our budget, we cannot afford it,” says Monzó. The first mayor indicates that there is “uncertainty” in how to face these processes with “limited resources.” “We need to be shown the way,” he adds.
Your alternative to obtain financing for the enhancement of its interior salt flats and the construction of an auditorium that give a boost to the cultural effervescence of the town is “in seeking synergies with other institutions “. The CSIC or the Federation of Musical Societies are some of its supporters in addition to requesting protection from the Generalitat, the Diputación de Valencia or the Valencian Federation of Municipalities and Provinces.
“The problem that we find with the municipalities is the lack of staff they have “, explains Gonzalo Albir, coordinator of ‘Pont a Europa’ of the FVMP, not only to request them but also to execute them correctly. “The cuts in the Local Administration continue to be noticed a lot, especially in the smallest ones,” insists Albir, who assures that they are in constant meetings with the consistories.
“We need technical support,” says Ramiro Rivera, mayor of Titaguas, with just over 450 inhabitants, and a provincial deputy. It highlights the “great opportunity” that these funds represent, especially in the demographic challenge, something that directly affects the interior towns, the most affected by the lack of population and, therefore, of resources. “We have to anticipate, our limitations force us to be working for a long time the calls for when they are in 2022,” he says.
Fear that the money will not arrive
Calles has 350 inhabitants and an architect from the council every 15 days, a secretary once a week, a joint agronomist, an administrative officer and an ADL. “It takes us head to manage the usual subsidies from the council and the Generalitat because we do not have the means, European funds is a lot of work, for small towns like ours it is impossible “, laments the mayor of the town, María Consuelo García.
It’s also not easy for some slightly older ones like the 2,000-strong Marines. “It is very difficult to face all the files with the personnel that we have, the fear is to end up seeing the funds pass by, “explains the mayor of this town, Lola Celda, who details that in her consistory there is an auditor secretary, an ADL for subsidies, an administrative assigned to accounting, two information people and a policeman. “That is my entire brigade for European funds,” he says resignedly.
However, Cell recalls that unity is strength and that if individually facing the processes is complicated, “it is another thing to go with other municipalities that have common interests.” The municipality of Marines is also president of the Camp de Turia Commonwealth of which she says they are already preparing for 2022 to seek joint projects. “We are bringing together the region to improve through these funds, it is a great opportunity, but we all have to go to one”, sentence.