The mayors of the four major cities from the western part of the country – Kolozsvár/Cluj-Napoca, Temesvár/Timisoara, Nagyvárad/Oradea and Arad have created an alliance that aims to improve the cities’ connectivity through highways and high-speed railways, as well as to improve their collaboration on other large-scale projects.
“There are several sources of funding outside of the country and we want to get them” – says Timisoara mayor Nicolae Robu. “It is well known that the European Union has major projects for which money can be earned directly from Brussels. It is time to start working effectively within this quadrant of the West.” he stated.
The memorandum of the Western Alliance signed in Temesvár on the 8th of December 2018 by the four mayors Nicolae Robu (Temesvár/Timisoara) Gheorghe Falca (Arad), Ilie Bolojan (Nagyvárad/Oradea) and Emil Boc (Kolozsvár/Cluj-Napoca), is the starting point of an informal forum for exchanging ideas and experience, and cooperating on large projects, primarily high-speed and cultural connectivity. They will initiate major infrastructure projects, especially to improve the connectivity between the four cities – high-speed rail, highways, expressways – and to cooperate in financing their projects in the fields of culture, education, health, tourism, sports and security directly from Brussels.
Among the plans of the four major cities of the West there is the acceleration of the building of the North-Transylvanian motorway, the Via Carpathia and the Timisoara-Belgrad motorways, the building of a high speed train system connecting the four cities, the increasing of eco-friendly mobility in the metropolitan region of the cities by building or expanding train-, metro-, tram and trolley bus systems.
The mayor of Timișoara, Nicolae Robu said that the alliance is not a closed one but any other city wishing to join it will have to adhere to the principles and values of its founders.
The combined population of the four cities is just short of one million people (972,000).
The alliance – Alianța Vestului in Romanian – is abbreviated AVE, a traditional Roman welcome greeting. Its purpose is to moderate emigration by creating a place of prosperity and increasing the competitivity of the Western region.
Emil Boc, the mayor of Kolozsvár stated that the Alliance was formed on the basis of the principle of subsidiarity and wishes to move the opportunity of decision-making closer to the citizen.
The four mayors, that all have earned their mandate as members of the Liberal Party of Romania emphasized: they did not form the Alliance with separatist purposes, they do not see the government in Bucharest as an opponent.
Title image: The mayors of Oradea, Cluj, Timișoara and Arad, (L to R) Ilie Bolojan, Emil Boc, Nicolae Robu and Gheorghe Falcă. (photo: Virgil Simonescu)