More than 30 national and international experts shared expertise, resources, examples of good practice, proposals and initiatives during the international online conference "European values in the regions of Romania", organized by the Association of Regional Development Agencies in Romania - ROREG.
During the event, Mrs. Elisa FERREIRA, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, emphasized the fact that Europe, and implicitly Romania, is at a key moment, in which we must look to the future and identify those investments that could offer people a better life and a better future and which, at the same time, be adapted to the new scenario generated by the pandemic.
Mrs. Elisa FERREIRA also spoke about how the European Union supports the regions of Romania in these trying times:
"Regional Development Agencies and the citizens of Romania must face the challenges of the 21st century, whether it is about the recovery after the pandemic, or about the digital and green transition. What we can take away from this crisis is the important role that the European Union plays and how it supports regions, local businesses and regional development […]. We are committed to supporting the regions of Romania, through tools and resources, but only together can we make things work".
Romania has reasons to be confident, the representatives of the European Commission appreciated. Important years are coming for the development of the regions, thanks to European funds. This unique opportunity is also a major responsibility, not only to achieve a more effective recovery after the pandemic, but also to rebuild better, invest wisely in a greener, more digitized and more competitive economy.
The full speech of Mrs. Elisa FERREIRA can be viewed here.
The almost 800 participants in the conference received answers to questions related to the future of the regions in Romania. Public authorities must strategically plan and prioritize future investments and at the same time ensure balanced development so that the entire territory remains dynamic in terms of economy, jobs, public transport or health infrastructure and education. The main drivers of regional development in the coming period will be innovative projects, those that support a carbon-neutral economy and put citizens' needs first. For future investments to be successfully implemented, local public authorities must further develop their administrative capacity and involve regional, local actors and citizens in a full democratic partnership.
Regarding the investments from European funds, Mr. Sorin MAXIM, the general director of ADR West and the President of the ROREG Association made the following statement:
"Today in our common language there is a reflex to say that we must all get involved in order to spend European money. I say that we must invest European money, and not just spend it. It is a nuance that needs to be corrected, both in language and in approach. In the same way, and European values, we must transfer them to our plans, programs and projects".
Mrs. Aida LIHA-MATEJICEK, Coordinator of the Romania Directorate within the European Commission, showed her appreciation towards the Association of Regional Development Agencies in Romania - ROREG, which she sees as a model of good practice in regional development, declaring: "The fact that all 8 ADRs were brought together in the conference is an extraordinary thing […]. We at the European Commission will continue to support you. I have been in constant contact with you for the completion of the regional operational programs, which are among the most advanced of the 16 at the national level […]. Congratulations on your efforts! We know that results come after years of work and that the fruits of labor cannot be reaped overnight."
Presentations by experts from the panels (Green Regions, Urban Development Tools, Innovative Regions and Development of Administrative Capacity at Regional Level) can be consulted here.
In the next period, we will publish on the page of the ROREG Association (www.roreg.eu) a detailed material, which will provide the most important conclusions, ideas and examples of good practice discussed, a real centralizer of resources for regional planning and development in the period 2021-2027, as well as the recording of the conference.
ADR Vest and the ROREG Association appreciate the involvement of the partners and thank all the participants.
You can find more information about the activity and future actions of the ROREG Association on the web page: www.roreg.eu.