The representatives of central and local government, experts in local public administration from Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova met in Chisinau, on December 12-14, 2011, to discuss the opportunities for decentralization in Moldova, the experience and successful practices of the European Union Member States, to identify solutions and best models for the implementation of the decentralization reform in Moldova, and to develop policy recommendations.
Iurie Ţap, the Chairman of the Special Parliamentary Commission on Decentralization, said at the beginning of the conference that the discussions and presentations will help both decision makers and the representatives of local public authorities and civil society in Moldova to form a clear vision on the decentralization process, to adopt the same tactics and to work together in the same direction. “The experience of other countries that have advanced in decentralization will help us better understand how to act, what mistakes to avoid so that the decentralization reform to advance gradually”, Iurie Ţap said.
Victoria Cujba, Division for decentralization policies of the State Chancellery, presented the draft of the National Decentralization strategy developed by the Government with the assistance of UNDP Moldova, UN Women, and the financial support of the Swedish Government, in the framework of the Joint Integrated Local Development Programme. Referring to the importance of the document, Victoria Cujba said that the transfer of competences and financial resources from the central to local authority, and the creation of the proper legal framework, as it is set up in the Strategy, will allow to provide better public services to the citizens, at a lower price, along with the modernization of structures providing these services. This will inevitably lead to the improvement of the life quality, in particular of people from rural areas. Vasile Buzu, the president of Ştefan Vodă district, said that the draft National Decentralization Strategy is the single document that was consulted by the Government with people from all over country and that in this way its quality and its responsiveness to the needs of all citizens are explained. “What we have seen during our study visits abroad determines us to believe that the decentralization reform is needed in Moldova, and that for its implementation more political courage is required”, Vasile Buzu said.
The international experts who moderated the sessions of the workshops mentioned that there are many decentralization models, including financial, patrimonial and other areas. It is important that the political will to exist in applying them and that the models to correspond to the realities of Moldova. Speaking about the experience of Poland in decentralization, the experts opined that transparency and citizen participation is a primary concern. “Financial documents should be available to all citizens, the possibility to watch the meetings of the Local Councils should be created, the citizens should be consulted when making big expenditures and investments”, the conference participants said.
The International Conference “Decentralization and Local Autonomy Development: Successful European Models for the Republic of Moldova” is organized by the Business Consulting Institute in partnership with PAUCI Foundation (Poland) and Corporate & Public Management Consulting Group (Latvia), with the support of Soros Foundation Moldova and UNDP Moldova.