Barcelona and Madrid, two different metropolis in their government structure

1.- The municipal area of ​​Madrid has just over 600 km2 and just over 3.2 million inhabitants. Both magnitudes coincide almost exactly with the size and population of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area, its municipal area and its population are much smaller.

2.- This supposes a very different metropolitan governance system in the case of one and the other. In Barcelona, ​​the metropolitan reality must be managed through cooperation between municipalities in a system that is essentially federal. Madrid tried to unify its metropolitan and municipal administration.

3.- However, neither the municipality of Madrid nor the AMB fully understand its metropolitan areas. In Barcelona, ​​the area of ​​the Royal Metropolis can be identified with the so-called Regió I as defined by the 2010 Law of the Parliament of Catalonia. However, in 2017 the Garraf and part of the Anoia region were incorporated into a new Regió del Gran Penedès.

4.- In Madrid, above the municipal level there is only the CAM that brings together the competences of territorial management and those of the autonomous government.

5.- In the Barcelona Metropolis, the situation is more complex. Above the municipal area is the region, the AMB and the Provincial Government, before reaching the Generalitat as an autonomous government body.

6.- Comarca, AMB and Diputación are bodies of the local Administration of indirect election and with competences that are largely concurrent. Cooperation and collaboration between administrations is mandatory, but it is not always easy or effective.

7.- It is not easy to understand that in our case 3 levels of indirectly chosen local administration are necessary and in Madrid none, since both the Municipality and the CAM are of direct election. The result is that we have too many administrations, little transparency and lack of clarity regarding the responsibilities of each one of them.

8.- It seems more logical to simplify intermediate administrations. If there is a metropolitan management body in its territorial area, county councilors are not necessary and that body could easily assume its powers and also those of the Provincial Deputation that could continue to be active beyond the metropolitan territory.

9.- A model like the one we are proposing would take advantage of the efficiency derived from voluntary cooperation between local administrations, which is at the very root of the metropolitan fact, and the greater capacity for action of a simpler administration close to the inhabitants of the metropolitan territory.

10.- It is also important to consider that in this way we approach the metropolitan realities configured as a State City (Germany, Austria, Russia) or as Region Cities (France, Italy, Portugal), a model that is supported by a large part of the governance experts.

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