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Alhama, a reference to the crisis in the Virtual Municipalism Congress and Covid-19 (26/07/2020)

| Governments and experts from all over the country claim the fundamental role of municipalism in managing the pandemic | The congress, with the support of the FEMP, aims to be the start of a joint inter-municipal work and of new days of debateThe councilor for Social Welfare of Alhama, Nani Navarro, values ??the work carried out in the town through social workers these months and the training itineraries that have managed to replace charity with the dignity of vulnerable people and familiesThe effects that the Covid-19 pandemic is having at the local level, how the municipalities are facing it and what are the actions that must be promoted to face the future are some of the main issues addressed in the first Virtual Congress on Municipalism and Covid-19 held this Wednesday, July 22.

An initiative promoted by the City Council of Canyelles (Barcelona), with the support of the Spanish Federation of Municipalities (FEMP) and in which mayors, councilmen and prominent people in charge of municipal government and health professionals from the country have participated. The Secretary General of the FEMP, Carlos Daniel Casares, opened the day by giving a message of optimism to face the future after the tragic nightmare lived so far, during which the local world has once again made its mark, he assured.

He has thanked the work done by the municipalities, for having shown that we have strength, momentum and know how to defend our neighbors. Casares pointed out that during the pandemic, the FEMP has worked intensively, making itself available to the Government of Spain to transmit all the information to the country's mayors.

He also recalled that the FEMP has approved more than 500 extraordinary measures to respond to the demands arising from various sectors, and to give the necessary support to the municipalities to address the future. In this sense, he pointed out that municipalities need to be more empowered and should have had more information.

Thus, he assured, it is necessary to address three objectives as soon as possible during this mandate: 1.

Local reform so that the municipalities have an adequate competence framework.2.

Sufficient financing for the municipalities.3.

The demographic challenge.

Provide equal services to all citizens, taking into account that more than 87% of Spanish municipalities have less than 5,000 inhabitants.The mayor of Canyelles, Rosa Huguet, welcomed the meeting, pointing out that this congress is the beginning of a necessary work in the municipal sphere, to make available to all the management that the municipalities have carried out during these months.

It has been shown that we were not prepared, but the municipalities have still assumed their responsibilities.

All the mayors have been there, and also society, he assured.

Huguet also appreciated the support of the FEMP and issued an acknowledgment to all the workers who have been present during the pandemic.

Thanks to them the initiatives go ahead. Sandra Lozano, an Animal Health professional, made a more scientific approach to Covid-19 in her presentation, exposing the necessary safety and prevention measures, as well as self-protection and protection of others (to promote the need to take care of ourselves and protect ourselves globally), evolution, transmission routes, scientific advances, the reality of the role of animals in this crisis and also that of young people, all of which are important aspects for public health.The mayor of Venta del Moro, Luis Francisco López, for his part, exposed the impact of Covid-19 in the rural world and the effects of depopulation in this area.

This Valencian municipality, with just over 1,200 inhabitants, has so far had only one affected by the virus.

López claimed how the roots of rural values, forgotten until now, have resurfaced during the health crisis.

Values ??such as a sense of community and collaboration, well present in the rural world, have emerged as necessary.

In this sense, he asked for mutual respect between the rural world and the urbanite, and has defended the surprising management that rural councils have made of the pandemic to maintain the supply and services of the neighbors, even and meet with added difficulties: depopulation,little internet coverage or complicated access.

Vulnerable areas where it is difficult to establish the population and have young people.

In this sense, it demanded a new economic model for the rural world and new ways of social cohesion, as well as a great State pact against depopulation and a transversal legislative amendment that has its focus on the rural world and that offers and enables justice real fair. José Francisco Cabanes, Mayor of Sedaví, in his presentation, explained the success model imposed by his municipality, that of the Monedero Card, which has been exported to other municipalities and which has been a work system that dignifies users of Social Services, before and during the pandemic.

This initiative has allowed vulnerable families, whether they were regular or new users, of the Services Social resources have had an economic resource that has allowed them to cover basic needs, Cabanes assured, noting that from the beginning of the pandemic the Sedaví City Council made this resource available to Social Services, which has proven to be agile and effective. And already at the European level, Bartolomé Nofuentes, Councilor for Quart de Poblet and head of the European Commission of the Commonwealth Horta Sud, highlighted the learning that the health crisis has meant for everyone and also as the digital divide has revealed in all domains, such as education or the elderly.

Nofuentes highlighted the role that municipalism must have in the future of the European Union and the need for the organization of municipalities to be present and be key in Europe.

Europe must be organized in partnerships, in consortia based in Brussels to be more proactive and defend the projects of our universities, our companies, our businesses, etc.

This is the challenge of municipalism, he pointed out.The role of technology in public administrations in the face of the health crisis was the subject discussed by the councilor of the Calahorra City Council, Óscar Eguizábal.

In this sense, he pointed out how the crisis has made us discover telework, which has come to stay, to which many companies have signed up and how it has also reached the public administration, although this sector has always advanced at a slower ratein the technological field.

Thus, he pointed out how the health crisis alerts us to the need to advance in innovation and to the necessary technological revolution to help provide a good service and improve the relationship between public administration and companies.

Technology is an important tool for public administration and the engine of change.The last shift was for Nani Navarro, councilor for Social Welfare of the Alhama de Murcia City Council, who was referring to the fact that due to the health crisis suffered, the place that Social Services should occupy has become clear, being one of the basic pillars of an Administration, highlighting the work and effort made by women workers and social workers.

She defended the work of this sector that is not based on charity but on dignity.

And it also highlighted the fundamental role they have played during the pandemic in municipalities with a high rate of immigrant population, to integrate it and make the municipality known.

A great bet carried out through Training Informative Itineraries, PEPAFISThe Virtual Municipalism Congress Before Covid-19.

New Initiatives.

New challenges.

New Opportunities, aimed to collect the experience of various municipalities in the Spanish territory when managing the health crisis caused by Covid-19 and to reflect on the role that municipalism must have to continue managing the situation in the future.

It is the first day of an initiative that aims to have continuity in the future with new discussion sessions.The Congress was held through the Zoom Virtual Platform and broadcast live on the Canyelles City Council YouTube Channel.

Source: Ayuntamiento de Alhama de Murcia

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