The territorial reorganization of Romania has become an increasingly important topic for the officials in Bucharest, and although we do not have a clear deadline related to its materialization, the consequences of this effort seem to be increasingly clear.
Instead of the current 41 counties, our country could be reduced to 15 counties. Another aspect that has been postponed concerns the reorganization of cities and communes according to population. Of course, there are a bunch of cities that bear this generic name, even though their population has halved in the last decade.
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What is happening with Romania’s counties, cities and communes
If in the past the initiatives related to the change of the map came from the authorities, now the territorial reorganization is the subject of a proposal coming from the business and academic environment. The goal is to reduce the number of institutions and, implicitly, the number of employees in the administration, in order to reach lower expenses. Such a project could materialize only after next year’s elections.
In any case, according to specialists, reducing the number of counties from 41 to less than half would do wonders for the efficiency of institutions and the reduction of expenses. “Redefining the notion of commune as a locality with at least 5,000 inhabitants and a city with at least 10,000 inhabitants, at the same time all institutions should be grouped together. The administrative reorganization proposed by the National Chamber according to the model of the appeal courts would bring real savings”, explained Bogdan Daniel Vișan from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry to Pro TV News.
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The map of Romania, established by a law over 50 years old
At the moment, in Romania, we have 19 million inhabitants distributed in 103 municipalities, 216 cities, over 2,800 communes and 12,900 villages. A bit strange and wrong at the same time is the fact that there are communes with 80 inhabitants and “cities” with about 1000 people.
“Today we have 2,390 communes with less than 5,000 inhabitants, so 83.5 percent do not meet this criterion, we have three counties that today do not have any commune with more than 5,000 inhabitants, Caraș Severin, Hunedoara and Olt County – in three counties all the communes they should be organized”, explained the former Minister of Development, Cseke Attila.
The consequence of these values above is an increased level of poverty and lack of investment in several regions of the country. To understand the seriousness of the situation, out of 3,000 town halls in Romania, in 2022, only 47 managed to cover their expenses from local taxes and fees.
“It’s an extraordinary waste, many administrative expenses that could be reduced in this way only because in rural areas where nothing happens, the only important employer is the mayor’s office, the mayor’s clients are important in the elections,” concluded political scientist Cristian Pârvulescu.