The European Commission recently approved the constitution of two new NUT2s, one of which concerns my election district in the Assembly of the Republic, uniting the Médio Tejo, Lezíria do Tejo and Oeste. The other new NUT2 is related to the Setúbal Peninsula.

In order to establish the constitution of these static units, some legal procedures are still missing (namely, the non-opposition of the Council or Parliament, which is obviously not plausible) related to Brussels’ own bureaucracy. But the European Commission’s approval of these two new NUT2 is undoubtedly a historic moment, if not one of the most relevant moments in the history of our region over the last four years.

As it is a technically dense dossier, this is a topic that is overlooked by a large part of the public, but, due to its pertinence, in the following lines, I refer to facts that help to clarify it. The district of Santarém was, since the beginning of the century, divided between the Center (Medio Tejo) and Alentejo (Lezíria do Tejo), this for the purposes of community funds, where municipalities do not have the right to vote.

At the same time, they continued to belong to Lisbon and the Tagus Valley for the purposes of, for example, spatial planning and voting rights. This division led to significant losses in unity and also in the ability to lead its development. However, to be fair in my analysis, the reason for this historic decision was important for the region: not to lose EU funds, which Lisbon had no longer had access to.

In this process, a word to remember that the mayors, the Government, in the person of the Prime Minister, and the PS deputies have always had this objective on their horizon. On the other hand, let us not forget the headwinds, voiced by those who resorted to demagoguery. Or who, at the last minute, tried to arrange all the regimental tricks, in the debate in the Assembly of the Republic last December.

In that debate, held on December 21st, I once again defended this dossier, stressing that the creation of a NUT2 that brings together the current NUT3, Lezíria do Tejo, Médio Tejo and Oeste, was an old design and an electoral assumption of the PS Program . A key point that the PS – and well – has been leading in the region and that this enhances the development of the region and cohesion in the current district of Santarém in the West region. A topic that, by the way, had already been discussed in a previous article.

Nor will we forget that the largest opposition party, after swearing in love for the new NUT2, ended up abstaining from the law that allowed its creation. Inconsistencies in the moment of truth.

This region has until 2027, the year of a new partnership agreement, to carry out the work of preparing for a new reality, training itself accordingly. The Santarém district has already shown unity and strength in this crucial issue. This victory by Ribatejo e Oeste deserves this coherence and the commitment of all those who believe in the development of the country.


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