As recentes reformas do poder local em Portugal: pretexto para uma reflexão sobre a autonomia local no século XXI
Suzana Tavares da Silva y Francisca Costa Gonçalves
Reforming the local power is a common political issue. It is discussed in all European States and a bit around the World, in search, on one hand, of the most efficient way of managing local public services as well as ensuring representativeness for local interests, and on the other hand, of the creation of resilient communities at that political level. Portugal is part of this global wave of reforms and since 2011 we can distinguish two moments: a first one, imposed by international creditors, within the framework of State?s financial assistance programs, which did not produce significant results other than grouping some parishes; and a second moment, more recent, endorsed by the Government, which consists in transferring competences (not powers) to local authorities, mainly in social areas. Municipalities contest this ultimate ?legislative package?, due to its legal complexity, underfunding and the unclear political context in which it was approved.