Back Local and regional democracy in Romania: Congress rapporteurs welcome plans for the ratification of the Additional Protocol to the Charter

44th Session Strasbourg, France 24 March 2023
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Local and regional democracy in Romania: Congress rapporteurs welcome plans for the ratification of the Additional Protocol to the Charter

Congress of Local and Regional Authorities rapporteurs March Cools and David Eray have welcomed the announcement by Attila-Zoltán Cseke, Minister for Development, Public Works and Administration of Romania, that the country will ratify the Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government on the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority.

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe adopted on 23March 2023 a Recommendation acknowledging Romania´s progress in strengthening local democracy but also calling for a number of improvements concerning, most notably, the funding of local authorities.

The Congress particularly welcomes the progress made by the country in the consultation of the local authorities. It also praises the substantial weight of the local authorities’ sector on public expenditures, the reform of metropolitan areas, the proposals to strengthen cooperation between rural communes and the role of the Court of Accounts in enhancing the efficiency and transparency of the local sector.

To address the shortcomings identified, adequate resources would need to be allocated to the local authorities so they can fully exercise their functions, as the transfer of power concerning local public services is not always accompanied by enough funding. There is also a lack of transparency in the allocation of financial resources between the central and local levels of government, which does not allow to meet the real needs of local authorities and leads to local authorities making limited use of their financial autonomy.

The Recommendation calls for improving the measures to prevent political interference at local level and ensure transparent, equitable distribution of resources between central and local levels.

To tackle the weakness and fragmentation of the communes in rural areas, the authorities should improve and facilitate voluntary mergers of municipalities and foster inter-municipal cooperation.

In light of its Recommendation on the Status of Capital Cities, the Congress recommends establishing a special autonomy for Bucharest aimed at providing substantial procedural safeguards to guarantee the capital´s city autonomy and minimise the risk of interference from other levels of government.

Regarding local consultation processes, the Romanian authorities are encouraged to comply with the deadlines set up in the legal framework since the government sometimes sets up too short deadlines when consulting associations.

The recommendation was adopted based on the findings of a report on the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government by Romania prepared by rapporteurs March Cools (Belgium, L, ILDG) and David Eray (Switzerland, R, EPP/CCE), assisted by one member of the Group of Independent Experts on the Charter, Prof. Tania Groppi. In the report, the rapporteurs conclude that Romania´s system of self-government works well and that the country generally fulfils the obligations of the Charter.

Romania signed the European Charter of Local Self-Government on 4 October 1994 and ratified it on 28 January 1998.


Recommendation 494 (2023)

 Video of the debates

 Statement by Attila-Zoltán Cseke

 Mediabox interview with David ERAY and Marc COOLS

44th Session
Agenda – Web file – Multimedia (Live webcasts, interviews, videos and photo)