The municipality of Baaqline is calling for more agency. (The Daily Star/Stringer)
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On a warm Friday afternoon in the mountain town Baaqlin in the Chouf, several heads of municipalities and concerned citizens packed into the town hall – an Ottoman building known as the House of Baaqlin. They were all there to meet the EU Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst, who had come to the small town to discuss local governance and the role of the EU – but there was one topic which underlined all of the discussions: decentralization. Municipalities would also become financially independent – replacing the current centralized fund that is administered by the central government with a decentralized fund.Ghosseini told The Daily Star that the centralized municipal fund is not distributed proportionally to each of Lebanon's 1,108 municipalities. According to the EU's ambassador to Lebanon, the EU spends approximately 124 million euros on close to 600 municipalities in Lebanon.
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