“I am committed to decentralization; I believe in the power of community, that people can perform their tasks more wisely at the local level than with central management,” announced Attila Cseke, Minister of Development, Public Works and Administration at a press conference in Sepsiszentgyörgy (Sfântu Gheorghe) on Friday, Hungarian newspaper Székelyhon.ro reports. The minister met the managers of the municipalities from the microregion at the conference. As he pointed out, the Ministry led by him has a coordinating role in decentralization and will help the other ministries in this process.
According to Székelyhon.ro, Attila Cseke said that as a first step, he held discussions with Károly Eduárd Novák, Minister of Youth and Sports. According to their plans, the Ministry of Sports will hand over its sports directorates to county governments and the directorates for sports camps and clubs to the municipalities. The two ministers also plan to submit this proposition to parliament while the Ministry of Development works out the plans for decentralization.
Cseke also announced that the draft on the abolition of the regional level of the State Inspectorate for Construction was submitted for public discussion on Friday. This reform is part of the administrative reorganization, which places a focus on efficiency, Székelyhon.ro reports. In Romania, the regional level of public administration does not exist despite there being regional institutions. The State Inspectorate for Construction has three levels: national, regional and county. A majority of projects are carried out at the county level, while the national level coordinates and monitors. The authority employs nearly 400 national inspectors but only 14 at a regional level. Therefore, the institutions on this second level do not even exercise their most important competence — they only consume public money, Minister Attila Cseke stated.
Cseke also spoke of his nursery construction plans, stressing that the nursery system will be changed completely in the following two or three years. The burden of nurseries will be removed from the shoulders of local governments, and more children under the age of three will be provided with nursery places. According to Székelyhon.ro, the National Investment Company has already worked out the visual design of the new nurseries and by spring, the construction plans of three types of nurseries (for four, six or ten groups) will also be ready.
At the same time, the legislation will be amended, as it was adopted at the beginning of the 1990s. Romania ranks last in the European Union in terms of the number of nursery places, which does not reach 4 percent for children under three. This figure is 11 percent in Bulgaria and 70 percent in Denmark. Starting in September, legislation must come into force that will transfer crèches from the social system to the educational one and provide normative central funding for their operation. “If the nurseries are built, their management will be provided by the state, and the whole system will change in the next one or two years,” Attila Cseke, Minister of Development, Public Works and Administration, said.
Title image: Attila Cseke held discussions with Károly Eduárd Novák, Minister of Youth and Sports, about decentralization. Photos: Cseke Attila Facebook Page