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Environmental modernization and administrative simplification in Portugal

Alexandra Aragão

elni Review 2016, Issue 1, pp. 10-17. https://doi.org/10.46850/elni.2016.002

The fight against bureaucracy has been a constitutional goal in Portugal since 1982, when the first constitutional amendments were made. In Article 267(1), the following was included on the organization and goals of the Public Administration: “the Public Administration shall be structured in such a way as to avoid bureaucratisation, bring departments and services closer to local people and ensure that interested parties take part in its effective management, particularly via public associations, residents’ organisations and other forms of democratic representation”. Unfortunately, the mere fact of having a constitutional article dedicated to bureaucracy does not automatically fulfil the intended goal unless there is also the political will, governmental commitment and institutional capacity to achieve the objective.
Since 2005 the conditions for serious and systematic simplification have finally been met. In this article, the legal and political context in which the first modernization initiatives occurred, firstly, is briefly explained. Then, the article moves on to a more detailed presentation and critical analysis of the recent legal changes that took place in 2015 and transformed the environmental bureaucracy landscape in Portugal.

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References

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