« Prefect’s Law » and its environment

February 10, 2014 0 Comments

by Raluca Filip

(2014 translation of 2005 article. Unfortunately,

nothing is changed on the subject, meanwhile)

Economic growth, balanced and stable social development represents major objectives of each community and thus these objectives have been permanently in focus of administrative organizations in most of the developed countries. For achieving the desideratum it is necessary to consider specific aspects at national level and also specific aspects at local level, in local communities. In this way, the present orientation at EU level greatly emphasizes regional development as foundation for national development and entire EU development.

But the « euro skeptical », « euro pessimists » are really optimist in their faith that EU will unravel. The trend of regionalization is very accentuated. Local communities, from villages up to the euro-regions just got the taste of association in order to achieve common objectives of development, of keeping the area specificity, of sharing values. Globalization? Regionalization? Naming is important but is less important compared to the essence: borders will disappear –institutional differences between public, non-profit and private sector and between federal, state and local government are already diluted and indistinct and will become more diluted and more indistinct; governments will level and extend – they always were hierarchies and will remain so but they already began to adapt and restructure their ample vertical organization in order to exploit emerging horizontal networks and other sectors, this restructuring being accelerated; governments will modify their size – sovereignty reduces, the trend being of « planet government». International cooperation in areas like environment protection, commercial trades, violence fighting, etc., show this final result. Transfer and redefining determines governments to reduce their responsibilities so that other entities could appear to take it over and to offer public services. In other words, we further away from the government or from the control over the citizens and from offering benefits from state institutions and we make it for governance or for modifying laws, policies, organizations, institutions, common and contractual agreements which controls citizens and offers public benefits – the serious working in a network being fundamental for a governance.

In the same direction, the Law for regional development in Romania ( 315 / 28.06.2004 ),  the Decentralization Law ( 339 din 12.07.2004 ) and the Prefect Law ( 340 / 12.07.2004 ) are framed – these are laws part of the same “legislative package” (not only by the timing of their publishing and application), meant to regulate basic principles and general rules like institutional framework, objectives, competences and specific tools for the regional development policy, needed to the Romanian administrative and financial decentralization process. These laws should be still treated like a “whole” and applied or modified together.

Unfortunately, it is not stipulated in this “legislative package” either, the option for one administrative system or another. Therefore, notions of “de-concentration”, “decentralization”, “de-concentrated public services”, “decentralized public services” are mixed up even now, almost a year apart from validation of laws – justified situation though, because the attributions of those structures are not delimited.

(end of part 1, to be continued)