Gov't advised to give municipalities room for local Covid restrictions
Municipalities must be given space to implement coronavirus measures locally, the Council for Public Administration (ROB) said in the report From crisis to task, now that it seems the coronavirus will be a permanent problem. Parliament asked the Council for advice. By taking measures in the municipality, it is possible to respond to a local outbreak or an event with many visitors, the Council said.
According to the ROB, the national government must help municipalities tackle the long-term consequences of the pandemic. The governments need to map out the consequences and the measures that have been or could be taken.
Due to the coronavirus crisis, municipalities lost a lot of power, which resulted in local democracy moving further away from the citizen, the ROB said. The Council, therefore, recommended that as many decisions as possible be taken where they can be democratically monitored in the municipal administration. At present, many things are still decided in regional consultations, while the security regions should no longer be responsible for that.
The ROB wants municipal councilors to know how important they are for local democracy, especially wit the municipal elections next week. According to the ROB, physical meetings are crucial for this, even if new coronavirus measures are introduced. The Council advised municipal councils and aldermen to seek more contact with citizens and social organizations. That brings democracy back closer to the people, "exactly where it belongs."
Reporting by ANP