Mayor Nicolae Robu (Timişoara), Emil Boc (Cluj-Napoca), Gheorghe Falcă (Arad) and Ilie Bolojan (Oradea) on Saturday officially launched the foundations of the Western Alliance, an informal forum in which local public administrations collaborate to achieve of projects from European funds. 

The Alliance, which includes the municipalities of Cluj, Oradea, Arad and Timisoara, will be opened to other cities in the western part of the country.

The Mayor of Cluj, Emil Boc, said when signing the alliance’s constitution that centralization governance is a way of belonging to the past. “I would like to tell you what this initiative is not. This initiative has nothing to do with any kind of territorial separatism project or to call into question the Romanian unitary state. This project is not directed against the Bucharest government, but on the contrary, to have a stronger and richer Romania together. No state in the world can be richer if it does not have strong and rich cities. It is based on the principle of subsidiarity underlying the EU, namely that the decision must be taken by the public authority closest to the needs of the citizen. The second is related to centralization. The method of centralizing governance is a way of belonging to the past. That is the only reason why all the engines of economic development can be considered. There are 300 regions in the EU. If all of these engines would work at full capacity, things would go better. This initiative aims to use these development engines in the interest of Romania, because we will all have a stronger and more developed Romania,” Emil Boc said.

“With this initiative, in the spirit of the Alba Iulia Declaration of December 1, 1918, we want to create an informal forum for exchange of ideas and experience between us, the townspeople and the local governments we run, but and co-operation on large projects, primarily high-speed connectivity, but also in the fields of culture, education, health, tourism, sports, security and development in a broad sense”, reads a communiqué signed by the four mayors.

Lately, cities in the West of the country have begun to challenge the bureaucracy in Bucharest and send signals that they want to manage the infrastructure projects that the Government postpones themselves. Last month, the County Council of Cluj announced that it wants to access European funding to build a new regional hospital, after the Dăncilă Government decided to postpone the construction of regional hospitals in Iaşi, Craiova and Cluj until 2020-2025. In this regard, he sent a letter to the Government and the European Commission asking for the modification of the financing guide.

Photo: Virgil Simonescu / Inquam Photos

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