Interior minister Taina Boffering on right, shown with Emile Eicher (Syvicol) during Thursday's press conference
Minister of the interior Taina Bofferding (LSAP) presented on Thursday the main points of the bill to amend the 1988 law concerning how relations between the state and communes are organised.
Bofferding called the efforts a way to “modernise” the system “by simplifying the procedures, working more efficiently and giving the communes more autonomy,” according to the Thursday communiqué.
Last July, Bofferding announced the intent for a system overhaul via a participative process, including citizens in addition to officials and representatives from communes and unions. The first phase of the approach has involved the implementation of what the ministry calls “a new monitoring system of the state on the management of communes, more precisely a modernised, streamlined and digitalised monitoring system” which would serve to provide short-term benefits for authorities and the communes.
The idea behind some of the changes is to provide communes with more autonomy, with the state assuming a role as advisor and partner, which should help “generate significant gains in terms of administrative efficiency, both at local and state level”.
An e-document platform to be put in place should also improve efficiency and organisation, as well as potentially reduce the number of files submitted to the state to be approved. The approval process will be kept for important acts which fall beyond the commune’s interest as well as construction projects exceeding €1m.
The reform is also expected to alleviate the “administrative burdens” currently shouldered by the ministry of the interior.
Moreover, the bill provides for creating a legal basis to introduce a charter to define ethical principles for elected commune officials, which will be drawn up with the ministry and stakeholders.
The full presentation about the reform is available in Luxembourgish and French through the government website.