Events LOGOV


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A closer interaction between rural and urban municipalities is increasingly essential, especially in times when social and demographic challenges are growing due to an ongoing trend towards urbanization and the depopulation of rural areas. Most recently, the pandemic raised the question of how urban and rural local governments have fared during the pandemic, and what the impact on public services in this emergency was in the different contexts.

Over the last months, an international group of researchers involved in the LoGov* project have sought to answer some of the questions arising from the urban-rural divide. They have, for instance, collected examples for municipalities cooperating on specific agendas, e.g. on climate protection, or the provision of public services such as public transport. The researchers have investigated to what extent citizens are involved in the decision-making at the community level, e.g. when it comes to planning the urban spaces. Among others, they identified practices of different formal and informal cooperation mechanisms between municipalities, regional and national governments, and they looked at the role municipal associations play.

The pandemic has raised several additional questions and new practices have become relevant. How have municipalities fought Covid-19, how have they adapted their budgeting and planning during the emergency, and how transparent was the procurement?

The LoGov researchers have collected their findings in a comprehensive compilation of 16 country reports, thematic introductions, and a total of 174 practices from 16 countries. All reports are displayed on the project website and can be browsed and downloaded open access also on Zenodo.

Time will tell whether the experience of the pandemic will accelerate urbanization, slow it down or even reverse the trend. Time will tell whether the experience of the pandemic will accelerate or slow down urbanization, or even reverse the trend. The researchers have joined forces to take a closer look at these developments in the future.

*The LoGov project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 823961.


Professor Francisco Velasco’s interview with “El Periódico de España”.

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Professor Francisco Velasco Caballero, IP of the Local Government and the Changing Urban-Rural Interplay European project at the  Autonoma University of Madrid (UAM), recently had an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Periódico de España regarding the depopulated rural areas in Spain or the emptied Spain as they refer to it.

Professor Velasco and the members of his investigation team at the Autonoma University, through the LoGov project, have put a magnifying glass on the financing channels of urban and rural municipalities. They not only analyze the routes of money and financing of Spanish municipal and local entities but also compare it with those made by states such as Canada or Argentina.

Spain has a local financing model dating from 2004, from the Local Finance Law. Like all developed countries in the world, it has created three sources to nourish municipalities with liquidity: the transfers they receive from higher state levels, in this case, the general administration of the State and the autonomous communities; income from own taxes, among which the IBI is the most powerful (the Real Estate Tax); and fees for services (garbage and water are the most common).

Broadly speaking, 52-53 percent of municipal income comes from taxes, of which the IBI represents around 27. Transfers represent between 35 and 40%, which is not a small piece of the pie, far from it.

At this point, Velasco recalls that the criterion that guides the direction of money from the State to the municipalities is the population, although with a nuance that was very present in the enforcement of the local property law: setting a starting point from the beginning. that nobody lost. Another thing is the speed of what each one earns, and how much more or less they earn.

for further information and to read the full article please use the link below

Conference on the Project Law of Islands Councils

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On September 30 and 1st of October, the Institute of Autonomous Studies (IEA) of the Balearic Islands organized the Conference on the Project Law of Island Councils, which took place in Palma.

The objective of this event was to gather academics from different entities and universities to exchange their points of view regarding the new regulation that is in the process of elaboration. With this event, the IEA wanted to put on the table a serious, rigorous, and objective debate to create awareness of the virtues and defects of the normative text which will soon enter the Parliament for processing.

For further information regarding the event please see the link below:

V Congress of esMountains-Spanish Association of Mountain Municipalities

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On September 23, 24, and 25 in Aínsa, Huesca, the V Congress of esMountains took place. Under the title: “Mountain territories: the challenge of cohesion”. This was a unique opportunity in which the main private, public and social agents of the mountain population of Spain were brought together and in which the current and future situation was debated and studied through real success stories.

During this congress, the need for a Mountain Law, definitive for this type of territory, was vindicated to help alleviate their problems and face their challenges. A law that allows to recognize the peculiarities and develop the potential of these territories and thereby contribute to a more balanced and cohesive nation. In addition, the aim has been to highlight the importance of the rural world in the face of changes in society. Issues such as renewable energy or climate change are intrinsic in these territories, and these peoples are the levers that will achieve this transformation of society. In addition, there was a debate on how to face the challenges due to the depopulation of rural areas and how to revitalize abandoned Spain.

For further information regarding the event please see the link below:


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The seminar will address the analysis, from a practical perspective, of two of the relevant practices highlighted at the financing level. The first of them deals with a question with extensive experience (the delegation of powers for the management and collection of taxes by small municipalities), while the second relevant practice addresses a current issue (the implementation of funds related to the Next Generation EU), although there is a wide previous experience in the implementation of other types of funds from the European Union.

At the local level, the implementation of Next Generation EU funds must pay different attention to the different types of municipalities and, at the same time, not exacerbate the financial differences between urban and rural municipalities. This plan should fulfill a dual simultaneous function: rebalancing local finances of all municipalities, insofar as all of them have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis and creating new opportunities to make rural areas more attractive places to live and work. In this framework, we intend to assess whether the Next Generation EU may rebalance the growing economic and financial gap between rural and urban areas.

The Workshop will take place online on June 30, 2021, at 16:00 hours. For further information regarding the event please see the link below:

Haz clic para acceder a LoGov-Seminar-Program-FINAL-30-06-2021.pdf


Workshop on Intergovernmental Relations and People´s Participation in the Changing Urban-Rural Interplay in Spain

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Most municipal and provincial governments are integrated into associations, either in the Spanish National Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) or in other regional associations. These associations represent local interests before the State and the Autonomous Communities, either at intergovernmental bodies or by informal means.

The process of interest aggregation can be especially problematic in the case of the largest association of local entities. The heterogeneity of local interests depending on the particular socio-economic conditions of the territories, together with the multiplicity of inter-administrative coordination and cooperation bodies, may hinder the aggregation of local interests.

In this regard, the seminar will focus on the organizational and problem-solving capacities of the association of local entities to integrate the priorities and interests of urban and rural local entities. Discussion points will explore the resources and mechanisms to coordinate local interest (e.g. partisan affiliation of local representatives, territorially bounded priorities,  promotion of a public agenda for local policy, training technical assistance, or the dissemination of good practices, among others).

The Workshop will take place online on the 2nd of July 2021 at 09:30 hours. For further information regarding the event please see the link below

Workshop on Regional Plans on Depopulation and Inter-Administrative Coordination

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The internal migratory flows reinforce the imbalance in the distribution of population between rural and urban areas. This population imbalance may jeopardize the provision of public services in both cases although for different reasons. On the one hand, governments in urban areas concentrating migratory flows experience greater pressure on the provision of public services.

Local action tacking depopulation is partially embedded into regional plans in several Spanish Autonomous Communities. These plans differ on several grounds: (i) top-down versus bottom-up approach, (ii) depopulated-areas focused versus region-wide oriented plans, (iii)  types of measures (fiscal incentives, public investment in infrastructures and services, among others). These factors may generate diverse dynamics in the inter-administrative relations between the levels of government.

The previous situation in turn has been altered due to the approval of the Plan of Measures to Combat the Demographic Challenge (hereinafter “the PDC”), which will include an investment of over 10 billion euros, around 10% of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan. The overall aim of the Plan is fighting depopulation and guaranteeing social and territorial cohesion. The volume and short time frame of the funds coming from Europe require an exceptional organizational and management capacity on the part of the public sector. In this context, the reinforcement of the inter – administrative relations will be a key feature to develop joint strategies and concrete projects to implement the aforesaid Plan.

Bearing in mind the previous factors, the workshop’s main objective will be to address the relationship between depopulation plans and inter-administrative relations.

The Workshop will take place online on the 28th of April 2021 at 17:00 hours. For further information regarding the event please see the link below


Workshop on Depopulation, Digitalization, and Participation

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The workshop on Depopulation, Digitalization, and Participation respond to the programming of activities for the further assessment of the best practice described in the First Dossier of the WP-1 (local responsibilities and public services), regarding the Smart Rural Territory project for the digitalization of rural areas in Castilla y León, and the best practice contained in the Second Dossier of the WP-5 (people´s participation in local decision-making) on Local Action Groups. The First Dossier of WP-1 contained an initial approach to the “Smart Rural” project. The main features of the project were already explained, but many questions concerning the social and economic outcomes of the project, as well as the problems linked to multilevel cooperation, remained open. The second dossier of WP-2 focused on the work of Local Action Groups as networks of interaction between local authorities and societal actors in rural areas. These networks are financed by the EU LEADER program. They are set to design and implement in a participatory way development strategy for the territories where they operate and can be an effective policy tool to face the problem of depopulation of rural areas in the country.

In order to delve into these best practices and respond to the questions arising from them, several experts outside the research group are invited to participate in the workshop. All these external professionals take care of the abovementioned policies.

The workshop will take place online on the 17th of February at 16:00. For further information regarding the event please see the link below

Winter School of Federalism and Governance

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Call for applications for the LoGov-edition of the Winter School of Federalism and Governance. The Winter School is a cross-border postgraduate program located in the heart of the Alps under the auspices of the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe. The 2021 edition will  take place from 1 to 12 February 2021 and will focus on “Federalism and Local Self-Government”

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Closer Than You Think? Local Governments in Spain and Canada

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Francisco Velasco (UAM)

Friday, Sept 6 12:30 – 1:30pm

Centre for Urban Policy and Local Governance

University of Western Ontario

Social Science Centre, Room 6210

Local governments in Spain and Canada are rarely (if ever) compared directly in the scholarly literature. Yet, as Prof. Velasco will suggest in his presentation, a comparative approach reveals some striking similarities in the structure and operation of these two ostensibly very different local government systems.

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