Romania’s eight new administrative regions, which will exist together with its current counties, is currently being debated within the country’s ruling coalition, the Social Liberal Union (USL). Vice prime minister Liviu Dragnea is currently working on this project, but within the USL a series of debates are taking place, according to Romanian media. The exact number of regions has not been set, nor have the regional capitals. Dragnea favors the idea of having eight regions, in order not to open ‘Pandora’s box’, which would block the whole process of regionalization.
The eight regions, shaped from 1997, are Bucharest – Ilfov, Center, North – East, North – West, West, South – West, South and South – East, but they currently don’t have any legal status. The future regions will have a multi-annual budget and a president, which will lead a regional council, with a four-year mandate. The president will be chosen by the citizens via direct vote, starting 2016, when the new local elections are scheduled.
But to turn this into reality, the country’s Constitution needs to be changed, to allow the existence of regions, not only counties. Inside the USL, the debate is on about whether to place regional capitals in more developed cities, or in less developed cities, to support their further development.
So far, a USL document quoted by Mediafax, reveals the regional capitals as Bucharest, Alba Iulia, Piatra Neamţ, Cluj Napoca, Brăila, Timişoara, Craiova, Călăraşi, but things are not set in stone.
(photo source: Google Maps)