The European Forum for Urban Safety participated in the General Assembly of the Association of Romanian Towns, who celebrated it’s 15 years anniversary.
The event took place in Bucharest on March 12-15, 2008. It gathered some 100 local elected officials from medium and small towns from Romania, as well as representatives of foreign organizations such as Associations of Local Authorities from Estonia, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Aragon Region in Spain, the International Association of French-speaking Mayors, and the British Association of Local Councillors.
The most debated topics were those referring to decentralization and European funding opportunities. Most of the mayors took the opportunity to engage a dialogue with the ministers who were present at the meeting, their requests concerned particularly:
– the slow pace of administrative reforms,
– the lack of competences, both in terms of legal framework and financial resources
– the low wages that do not encourage resourceful persons to look for employment in administrative structures, therefore the scarcity of well-trained personnel willing to remain in the administration rather than work for the private sector fur much better wages
– how to take full profit of the funding opportunities available since Romania’s accession to the European Union.
The EFUS representative made a presentation of the project Local Democracy, Social Cohesion and Security, which aims at emphasizing the role of the mayor as a bridge between citizens and European institutions. Special focus was given to cooperation, be it at local, national or international level. The later one was illustrated by examples of projects run by the EFUS at European scale.