From the end of this year, the MRA, a collaboration between 32 municipalities in Noord-Holland and Flevoland and 2 counties, will have a council that will represent the MRA externally and will lobby for the region in The Hague and Brussels. Other reorganizations should ensure that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs consults more effectively and engages municipal and county councils more closely in regional programs and plans.
According to many municipalities in the area, the Ministry of Religious Affairs lacks the necessary strength. The organization is relatively young, especially when compared to the Capital District of The Hague, Rotterdam (MRDH). Additionally, there are many regional entities that have partially overlapping programs and their backers. Some MRA municipalities are not part of the transit district. They are represented in it by the county of Noord-Holland. There is also the Amsterdam Economic Council, where companies and entrepreneurs are also represented.
An independent study done nearly two years ago already showed that MRA is primarily seen as an informal organization. Municipalities like these to share knowledge and experiences and create mutual trust. The downside, however, is that very little real vision and direction is directed. The steering group, which mainly consists of mayors and commissioners, does not have sufficient guidance and is viewed as a Polish system. Administrative platforms, where various sub-topics such as mobility, spatial planning and economics are discussed, operate in rotation and between them there are still separate portfolio meetings on the topics. The agenda committee should bring more connections between these management platforms, but it has not been successful enough. Additionally, MRA is geographically divided into seven sub-regions.
Especially in space, this loose and fragmented approach poses problems. According to the report, the area is finding it difficult to reach final agreements on topics such as the number of homes to be built. But this spatial task in particular is perhaps the most important reason for the existence of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and requires appropriate coordination between provinces and municipalities. The MRA now realizes this too: the ever-increasing relationship between the city of Amsterdam and the surrounding subregions has evolved into a real city, and it needs cooperation with shorter lines between the metropolitan area and the directors, municipal councils and the county council to endorse its decisions. This requires the simplification of consultation within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a manageable number of bodies with clear positions and assignments. The administrative burden should be reduced, and consultations must be clear in the decision-making process and must be able to be presented and monitored in a timely manner by the councils and parliament, ”the transitional committee says in the proposal.
In order to strengthen this bond with Parliament, the Ministry of Home Affairs wants the council table, which includes representatives from each city council and parliament, that meets frequently and shares plans and topics early in the process. In addition, the agenda committee and the steering group will be transformed into an executive committee (small) and a general meeting, respectively, in which all municipalities, governorates and the transportation region will participate.
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