Andalusia cuts red tape to boost economy

The new Administrative Simplification Decree-Law provides for more than 300 improvement measures.

The president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno, and the vice-president and councillor for Tourism, Regeneration, Justice and Local Administration, Juan Marín, presented this Monday the draft Decree-Law adopting measures for administrative simplification and improvement of regulatory quality for economic reactivation. A new plan to reduce obstacles which, as Moreno stressed, makes Andalusia the Spanish autonomous community with the least bureaucracy to boost the economy.

This Decree-Law, which will be approved this Tuesday in the Council of Government and which is in addition to the Plan for the Improvement of Economic Regulation, will introduce more than 300 new measures to simplify and improve regulation, affecting some 80 regulations. In this way, Moreno has spoken of a “transformation” to reduce unnecessary administrative obstacles and to give a definitive boost to business dynamism and the economic reactivation of Andalusia.

This is, he stressed, the most ambitious work ever undertaken in the history of the Autonomous Region. With this new Decree-Law, Andalusia is also a pioneer at national level, facing an integral remodelling of its procedures to adapt to the indications of the European Union. “I am proud to preside over a government that has dared to undertake this radical change in order to create the most favourable conditions for business activity”.

Since the beginning of the Legislature, the aim of the Andalusian government has been to put an end to the “never-ending gymkhana” endured by Andalusia’s productive fabric and the investors who focused their attention on the autonomous community. To transform the Andalusian Administration into a dynamic and diligent entity, the Government of Change has implemented three important measures: a Decree-Law in 2019 to streamline the declaration of strategic projects -a dozen have already been promoted-; the first Simplification Decree-Law in 2020, which streamlined 21 laws and 6 decrees affecting a hundred measures, and the new Decree-Law presented today.

Between this Decree and that of 2020, a total of 400 measures to simplify and improve regulation have been taken into account, and a hundred or so rules have been streamlined. “A huge task that comes at the right time to combat the crisis,” he said, while noting: “Simplification is one of the greatest commitments that a government can have for economic growth. I ask the mayors and the General State Administration to join us in significantly reducing transaction costs, a burden for companies to be able to develop their activity with agility, and, on the other hand, to make the effort made by the Andalusian Government worthwhile”.

Through this Decree-Law, among other examples, the Law on Subsidised Housing will be amended to allocate public housing to groups in urgent need, and the requirements for both the Andalusian Declaration of Tourist Interest and the Declaration of Tourist Municipalities will be simplified. In Town Planning, the execution of projects charged to Next Generation funds will be speeded up and the agri-food sector will be provided with crisis mechanisms – the extension of the regulation – to be able to withdraw products in times of falling prices, “a demand of our farmers”.

In commercial activity, the regime for opening establishments and the procedure for building logistics areas will be simplified. On the other hand, in energy, the processing of photovoltaic projects and their evacuation infrastructures will be simplified. In addition, the deployment of a vehicle recharging infrastructure will be facilitated throughout Andalusia and the implementation of self-consumption renewable energy generation in urban areas will be favoured. In the Environment, private entities will be able to collaborate in the reforestation of burnt land and actions subject to state environmental impact assessment will no longer have to obtain Unified Environmental Authorisation.

In Fisheries, the requirements for authorising activities in nurseries and regional ports will be reduced, helping to modernise the industry and attracting investment. In Culture, the deposit of assets in local historical and archaeological institutions will be facilitated. And in the field of Education, entities dedicated to teacher training will be able to standardise courses with fewer procedures and in less time, with all the guarantees, “which will reactivate the sector”, he added.

For a competitive, sustainable and inclusive business fabric

The Vice-president of the Regional Government, for his part, detailed that within the Plan for the Improvement of Economic Regulation in Andalusia, 468 of the 829 administrative procedures that affect the start-up or exercise of the activity of economic operators and which are regulated by regional legislation were evaluated.

As part of this task, 154 procedures were detected whose simplification proposals were taken to the corresponding Sector Conferences. From there, the work focused on 207 procedures in order to draw up a guide to help companies adapt to the principles of good economic regulation and market unity. This Plan, as he pointed out, has been worked on intensively with the most representative economic and social agents – the Andalusian Businessmen’s Confederation, CCOO and UGT.

The Andalusian government’s challenge, he continued, is to simplify up to 150 administrative procedures by 2024, that is, to have reduced the 468 procedures analysed by around 30%. “All this work will facilitate the activity of companies and improve the life of citizens, an issue that has become particularly urgent at this time,” he said.

In this sense, Marín assured that with this Decree-Law the Andalusian Government has sought to improve the regulatory framework for economic activities in order to generate quality employment and companies that add value to the productive structure, as well as to convert the current Andalusian Public Administration into a proactive, more innovative, accessible and efficient administration, which contributes to the development of a competitive, sustainable and inclusive business fabric.

Support from the productive sectors for the new Simplification Decree-Law

The presentation of the new Decree-Law was also attended by the president of Fadeco Promotores, Francisco Martínez Cañavate; the president of Claner, Alfonso Vargas; the dean of the Association of Industrialists of Western Andalusia, Juan Carlos Durán, and the delegate of the National Association of Medium and Large Distribution Companies (ANGED) in Andalusia, Carmen Moreno.

Martínez Cañavate stated that business organisations, such as the construction sector, have been advocating for years for the streamlining of procedures and for an updated legal framework that is in tune with the needs of each sector. He stressed that, at last, their demands are not falling on deaf ears, which is why this project has their full backing. “The removal of obstacles, together with the LISTA, is excellent news. Andalusia is creating opportunities for companies, and we encourage them to follow the path they have taken”.

The president of Claner agreed that this new Decree-Law makes progress in the streamlining and simplification that the renewables sector has been demanding. “Welcome this new simplification, which not only provides fundamental support for large renewable energy projects, but also for self-consumption and vehicle charging. This is the future,” he said.

Durán regretted that for a long time the administrations have been equipped with complex laws that have become a brake on new projects in Andalusia. “This hyper-regulation does not come free, it has made us less competitive and has increased unemployment,” he said. In this way, he stated that they welcome with great satisfaction the Andalusian Government’s project to turn the region into the region in which it will be easier to carry out procedures, ceasing to be “a bureaucratic hell”.

Carmen Moreno, for her part, described this new Decree-Law as “magnificent” news for the productive sectors, in general, and for the commercial sector in particular. “The administrative tangle turns any business initiative into an obstacle course that sometimes makes it impossible to create new projects. Any help and support from the Administration in the direction of reducing and facilitating the creation of companies will have the full support of my Association and the sector”, he concluded.

Also present at the event were the Regional Minister of the Presidency, Public Administration and Interior, Elías Bendodo; the Regional Minister of Employment, Training and Self-Employment, Rocío Blanco; the Regional Minister of Education and Sport, Javier Imbroda; the Regional Minister of Economic Transformation, Industry, Knowledge and Universities, Rogelio Velasco; the Regional Minister of Health and Families, Jesús Aguirre; the Regional Minister of Development, Infrastructures and Territorial Planning, Marifrán Carazo; the Regional Minister of Culture and Historical Heritage, Patricia del Pozo, and the President of the Andalusian Confederation of Entrepreneurs (CEA), Javier González de Lara, among other authorities.


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