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Ruling confirms Consell de Formentera upheld fundamental freedom of association

Ruling number 229/2019 of the Contentious Administrative Court number 3 of Palma de Mallorca, dated 2 September 2019, rejected claims from the UGT that the Consell de Formentera infringed on islanders’ fundamental right to associate with trade unions.

The ruling states no attempt was made by the Consell “to impede or object to Señor Mateos’ fulfilment of his duties as a union affiliate”. Hence, the end of Mateos’ temporary assignment was not related to his union activities, rather to the fact he didn’t meet terms of a job pool.

Namely, the plaintiff neglected to report for duty during a three-month trial period, claiming secondment to a trade union—unaware that the tenth term of his employment conditions stipulated that only when the trial period elapsed would his hire be complete.

The court censures the plaintiff for “not appearing for work although the employment in question figured on a list of temporary positions that were particularly important and pressing”. According to the ruling, “the plaintiff arguably misrepresented himself and violated articles 6.4 and 7 of the Spanish Civil Code”.

Appeal
Besides throwing out the plaintiff's claim that his fundamental freedom to associate with a union was infringed upon, the ruling makes clear that his right to effective legal protection was upheld.

The court found that one fundamental right of the claimant which was infringed upon was equal access to public employment. This rendered Mateo's termination as a temporary civil servant null and void.

The court reasoned that “a decision of this nature should only have come after the corresponding procedure was followed”. In that case, and in presence of the plaintiff, the defendant could have “determined whether application of the condition in question was appropriate”.

The Consell de Formentera did not pursue any meetings of the sort with the plaintiff, deeming such action incompatible with case law established under ruling 37/2017. That ruling calls for the strict application of any terms concerning discretion.

Consell legal services are looking into presenting an appeal before the High Court of Justice of the Balearic Islands (TSJIB) to revalidate the plaintiff's termination and reject his claims entirely.


9 September 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Consell de Formentera and Govern stake upgrades to energy model on coordination

reunio-4-1-The president of the Consell de Formentera, Alejandra Ferrer, received a visit today from the Balearic minister of energy transition and manufacturing sectors, Juan Pedro Yllanes. The first encounter of its kind, the working meeting saw Ferrer and Yllanes agreeing on the need for coordination in key areas like assuring access to government benefits related to the environment, business, and power supply and the energy transition on Formentera.

Ferrer highlighted recent glitches on the local supply of electricity that occasioned service interruptions and other incidents this summer like a fire in la Mola. “The Govern has pledged its support in getting the firm in question to conduct maintenance to pre-empt any repeats of our situation this summer”, said the president. She also underscored “the need for collaboration in areas like inspections to prevent unfair competition”.

Meeting attendees also tackled the question of the es Ca Marí electricity substation and the activation of a third power cable. Ferrer stressed the importance of analysis in order to gain a clear sense of the shape of Formentera's energy situation. That will be key, in Ferrer's words, to “seeing how we're doing, determining what's still necessary” and making sure islanders are cutting consumption and moving toward clean energy.

The regional minister asserted that on such matters, Formentera's idiosyncrasies “feature prominently on the Govern's radar”. He also pledged his ministry's unflagging support for small- and medium-sized business and held up the Govern's commitment to getting the third electricity-supply cable classified as a public-interest project in order to speed up its installation. He additionally insisted that a sound path towards energy transition locally meant “coordination between Madrid, Palma and Formentera is key”.

Others on hand at the meeting were the director general of energy for the Govern, Ferran Rosa; Formentera's councillor of housing, seniors, trade and entrepreneurship, Ana Juan; the local councillor of mobility and territory, Rafael González and the island councillor for environment and inspections, Antonio J Sanz.

4 September 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Consell de Formentera unites behind proclamation on Europe's migrant crisis

signatura-codi-e--tic1At the August plenary assembly held today, members of the Consell de Formentera came together to make a statement about the migrant crisis in Europe. Councillors reaffirmed “the Consell's commitment to human rights and solidarity with society's most vulnerable”.

In the statement, councillors voiced “their full-throated rejection of the statements, attitudes and political convictions of the Italian interior minister, Matteo Salvini” concerning migrants picked up by the ship Open Arms. “The uniqueness, diversity and welcoming spirit of the people of Formentera stand in diametric opposition to the patent lack of sensitivity and empathy in Mr Salvini's words”, it continues. Councilmembers also included in the statement a plea to the Spanish government to “take a leadership role in European Union policies, pushing for migration policy that is driven by the will to safeguard the human rights of those fleeing conflict and persecution”.

Cross-party support was likewise secured for two proposals from the senior cabinet councillors. The first includes a plea to upgrade and reinforce Formentera's land and sea security corps in summer. Infrastructure, industry and interior councillor Josep Marí stressed that the seasonal spike in tourist activity made “reinforcements necessary to ensuring the safety” of Formentera's people, waters and environment.

Assembly members voted in unison to urge the Balearic ministries of environment and agriculture to take steps to improve operations at the waste water treatment plant and to coordinate them with upgrades at the osmosis and filtering plant in order to deliver a better-working irrigation pond.

Unanimity likewise marked the vote on a proposal from Sa Unió to promote 'Smoke-free beaches'—a Govern balear programme of health and environmental safeguards. According to environment councillor Antonio J Sanz, the Consell de Formentera has already taken steps to join the drive and a study will be undertaken to determine which beaches might be part of the measure next year.

An announcement was also made before assembly members regarding the temporary appointment of Daniel Azagra as head of communication.

Support for code of ethics
Minutes before the day's session began, councillors signed their pledge to uphold the Consell de Formentera's Code of Ethics and Good Governance, which received final approval at last month's full-house assembly and has already been published in the regional gazette (BOIB).

The document sets forth values and standards of behaviour for administration officials to follow while on the job. It also establishes a system for checks and revisions to ensure the initiative's success, part of a bid to make local government transparent, effective and efficient.


30 August 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Consell de Formentera's ethics and governance code published in regional gazette

This week, issue number 114 of the Official Bulletin of the Balearic Islands (BOIB) includes publication of a code of ethics and good governance that was passed at the most recent full-house assembly of the Consell de Formentera, in July.

Labeled the Codi Ètic i de Bon Govern, the directive sets forth values and standards of behaviour for administration officials to follow while on the job. It also establishes a system for checks and revisions to ensure the initiative's success, part of a bid to make local government transparent, effective and efficient.

The measure seeks to foment a culture of integrity and instil a spirit of best practices and conduct, and covers strategies to facilitate good governance and sound public administration. The code applies not only to the Consell de Formentera but agencies associated with, or dependent on, the Consell as well.

Transparency councillor Rafa Ramírez called the Codi Ètic i de Bon Govern “unprecedented at the local level”, and described it as “a tool to shape a policy of integrity as well as the principles and directive lines of good governance”. Ramírez also called the code was “a work in progress” that would be “retooled and added to over time”.

The directives are envisioned for individuals associated with the Consell de Formentera. That includes elected members of government in their capacity as elected representatives and irrespective of their inclusion in administration posts; heads of governing bodies (as defined in the organisational rules of the Consell de Formentera); acting departmental heads for the Consell de Formentera, on account of the increased autonomy such individuals have in the exercise of their functions; local civil servants whose functions are national in scope; and individuals in government-appointed posts or positions involving special, targeted consulting.

As elected representatives, employees of the president's office and individual councillors must expressly adhere to the code of conduct, irrespective of the posts they may hold within the administration. A special commission will be created and tasked with building awareness around the new rules and ensuring compliance with them.

Billed as “open-source code”, the document will be periodically revised for improvements, or additions, that islanders consider pertinent to reinforce an image of integrity and developing islanders' trust in their local government.

22 August 2019
Communication Department
Consell de Formentera

Local and regional administrations hold first working meeting

reunio-consell-govern-1-Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer received a visit today from Pilar Costa, the secretary of the first minister's office as well as of the culture and equality ministries of the Govern balear, for the first official working meeting between the two administrations. Both sides highlighted the collaboration characterising the previous legislative term, and stressed their shared will to continue with that same momentum over the next four years. Other Formentera officials were also on hand, including Ana Juan, the administration's vice president and councillor of housing, seniors, trade and entrepreneurship; culture and education councillor Susana Labrador; and youth, citizen participation and new technologies councillor Vanessa Parellada.

President Ferrer cited the spirit of collaboration that marked the bid to regulate incoming vehicles, and held out Formentera's Nautical Sports Centre—recently presented as part of the island's Impulse for Sustainable Tourism (ITS) strategy—as a project that “unites residents and tourists behind a single activity and setting”. That setting is Estany des Peix—and Ferrer stressed the importance of safeguards for the surrounding ses Salines reserve. The president also drove home the importance of collaboration between local island governments and the administration in Madrid, reasoning that “often Formentera is affected by decisions made elsewhere”. “We've got to keep working towards environmental and social sustainability”, she said, “these are going to be our long-term guarantees for economic stability”.

The gathering also served to arrive at consensus on issues like the transformation of the Sa Senieta building into the island's museum, and the competences on equality and LGTBI issues, which the Consell took over in January.

For her part, Ms Costa said she was confident that last term's “good relations will continue to grow during this legislative session” and that an ITS-driven financing deal could be reached for the island's ever-important Nautical Sports Centre. Costa congratulated the Consell de Formentera on the equality- and LGTBI-related efforts until today and asserted that the island could count on the Govern's continued support for the Formentera museum.


21 August 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

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