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Mayors of Bucharest, Madrid conclude collaboration memorandum in infrastructure, smart city, education, culture, tourism fields

The General Mayor of the Capital City, Gabriela Firea, and her Madrilenian counterpart, Manuela Carmena Castrillo, on Wednesday, signed in the Spanish Capital a memorandum of collaboration in fields as sustainable development, from the perspective of the Agenda 2030, infrastructure development, education, culture and tourism, Bucharest City Hall (PMB) informed in a release .

“This is a document that is full of meaning, with a special symbolism, especially as this year Romania is celebrating the Greater Union Centennial, which means that this is not only a partnership for the present, but one for the future too. In Madrid and in the metropolitan area lives one of the most dynamic and numerous Romanian communities abroad. Very many Romanians are exceptionally integrated here, plus, and this is very important to us, their rights are respected here, the same as their cultural and linguistic identity. We believe Spain is a model at European level in terms of how it manages to integrate its citizens, at both governmental and society level,” said Firea.

She also showed that the signing of the memorandum will contribute to the strengthening of cooperation in the modernization of the local public administration field and remarked that the Spanish model can be the premises for a new law of the Capital City.

“In Spain they have a law dedicated to the capital city, which solves a series of incompatibilities and inconsistencies that appear in the relation between the local public administration and the central authority, which is why I believe it would be a good idea to take over this administrative model,” said Firea, quoted in the press release.

The General Mayor highlighted the fact that Madrid is a model of implementation of the “smart-city” concept, which can also be implemented in Bucharest. She mentioned that Manuela Carmena Castrillo will pay a visit to Bucharest next week, when they will initiate the implementation stage of several projects in fields that are subject to the memorandum.

Gabriela Firea also appreciated the manner in which they solved the traffic problem in Madrid and said it could be used as an inspiration for Bucharest too.

“One of the examples, in terms of infrastructure, is the construction of underground passages that cross the city and contribute to the fluidization of the traffic. Of interest is also the experience of Spain in what concerns the environment infrastructure and European funds absorption, as all these are a factor that stimulates the relations between the local authorities in Bucharest and Madrid,” said PMB.

In her turn, according to the release, Manuela Carmena Castrillo stated that the administration in Madrid is very interested in an exchange of experience in various fields with the authorities in Bucharest. She mentioned that her visit to Romania will also include villages where people now in Spain with a precarious situation.

According to the latest statistical data published by the Permanent Immigration Monitor (March 28 2018), 1,030,054 Romanian citizens have legal residence in Spain. The geographical distribution of the Romanians in Spain shows a preference for the capital city area, with the Madrid community numbering more than fifth of them (214,000). The average age of the Romanians in Spain continues to slightly increase, reaching up to 36 years, compared to 34.5 years a year ago and 31 years ten years ago. Romanians continue to be not just below the average age of foreigners from EU countries living in Spain (40.6 per cent), but also the youngest larger community of citizens from the European Economic Area living in Spain.

“The Spanish authorities, through the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science and through the Departments for Education of the Autonomous Communities offered a substantial support for the integration of the Romanian children, contributing to the implementation, starting with the year 2007, of the programme Romanian Language, Culture and Civilization in the School Units in Spain (including 71 teachers, 3,500 pupils and 171 localities). The programme facilitates mobility between the two countries of the young from the Romanian families,” mentioned PMB.

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