Romanian Administration Forum, Bucharest 2007

The second edition of the Romanian Administration Forum took place in Bucharest on October 17-19 2007.
The forum allowed local elected officials to meet Government representatives and debate on three main topics:
– Strategic approach for local development
– Local partnership
– Decentralizatio
A large number of state actors and key players participated in this meeting: The Ministry of Internal Affaires and Administration Reform, the Ministry ofDevelopment, Public Works and Housing, the Ministry for Sustainable development and Environment, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry for SMEs, Trade, Tourism and Self-Employment, the Ministry for Education, Research andYouth policies, the Ministry for Labour, Family and Equal Opportunities and the Ministry for public health.
All of them were invited to present their priorities for improving the coordination between central and local level. A major concern of the local elected officials was that the decentralization process was still not functioning. Local authorities in Romania feel thatthey are being asked to fulfil many tasks, but they are not given either the legal or the financial competences. They were also complaining of thegrowing number of centralised agencies, which go against the idea of granting more powers to regional and local level. The audience that gathered some 150 mayors made it clear that there was a gap between government’s idea of decentralisation and that of local authorities.
The conclusion was that more cooperation was needed, and local authorities expressed their wish to be consulted more often in the decision making process by governmentrepresentatives. The main organizers, associations of Counties, cities, towns and villages reiterated their availability and willingness to beassociated in the law-making process.