In La Rioja

Pedro Sánchez chairs first meeting of Delegate Committee for the Demographic Challenge

President's News - 2020.2.28

Logroño

Set up at the Council of Ministers meeting on 25 February, the committee reflects how important overcoming the demographic challenge is for the Government of Spain, an issue that involves enabling any citizen to freely develop their personal, family and professional life project under equal rights and opportunities. "We are working to prevent a country advancing at different speeds and to not leave anyone behind", said the Vice-President of the Government and Minister for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, following the meeting held at the La Grajera Institutional Winery in La Rioja.

Representing all the ministerial departments involved in the issue, this body will promote specific actions by the government, companies and public entities to tackle this challenge: the population has fallen in three out of four municipalities in Spain over the last decade, a phenomenon that is eminently rural and most seriously affects small municipalities. Furthermore, it will be supported on joint efforts by the regional and local governments, civil society and public-private partnerships, which will lead to approval of the National Strategy for the Demographic Challenge at the next Conference of Regional Government Heads. Spain seeks to become a pioneer by tackling this challenge with a long-term State policy, through dialogue and consensus.

First lines of work

Pool Moncloa/Fernando CalvoAt its first meeting, the committee proposed various horizontal measures aimed at combating depopulation. These measures include facilitating relations between the public and authorities, simplifying administrative procedures to facilitate entrepreneurship and economic activities in those municipalities, and promoting public-private innovation projects.

A number of specific initiatives were also agreed, including the installation of a new Social Security Data Processing Centre in Soria, rolling out universal 30Mbps broadband coverage, launching 5G service pilot schemes in rural areas, promoting the Basic Small Municipality Statute, incentivising energy efficiency in buildings and the use of renewable energies, drawing up a plan to support regional centres of the Open University (Spanish acronym: UNED), increasing the number of Spanish Guardia Civil officers and creating mobile offices for the issue and renewal of DNIs and passports.

Besides the President of the Government, the Vice-President of the Government and the Minister for Economic Affairs and Digital Transition, the Delegate Committee meeting was attended by the Vice-President of the Government and Minister for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge; the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation; the Minister for Home Affairs; the Minister for Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda; the Minister for Education and Vocational Training; the Minister for Employment; the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism; the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food; the Minister for Territorial Policy and Public Function; the Minister for Culture and Sport; the Minister for Equality; and the Minister for Inclusion, Social Security and Migration.

Non official translation