Timisoara Mayor Nicolae Robu stated that the four members of the Western Alliance will press the Government to make it “understand the priorities of the country”, including the A1 Highway and the Transylvania Highway. Robu also spoke about the moment when the Western Alliance will be expanded.
Nicolae Robu stated on Friday at a press conference that the four mayors who are members of the Western Alliance don’t have “secessionist” intentions, they are patriots.
“I’ve seen some perceptions on our project that astonished all the four mayors who had the initiative to create the alliance. How can someone say we have secessionist intentions? We are four Romanian, patriot mayors, people who received the citizens’ trust, how can we even think about it? Any vague idea in this regard is totally alien to our minds and souls. What we want is a higher living standard for the communities we represent, for our regions, for this part of the country where our cities are located, but this higher living standard has to be achieved in Romania as a unitary national state, as Romania is organized by the Constitution”, the Timisoara Mayor explained.
Nicolae Robu also stated that the expansion will be considered only after Asociatia de Dezvoltare Intercomunitara Alianta Vestului (e.n. – Western Alliance Intercommunity Development Association) will be founded, which is the moment when a statute and articles of incorporation will exist.
“Only then we will be able to analyze requests for joining the alliance, based on the provisions of these documents which underlie the setting up of the association. At the moment, all of us must be equable, we are in close relations with several of our colleagues who are mayors whom we fully respect, they are valuable people, we totally appreciate their communities, we know that they deserve to join us and we tell them that there will be a moment when they will be able to join us”, Nicolae Robu added.
Timisoara Mayor also said that the construction of a highway network is very important for Romania and reminded that at the moment there is increasingly less talk about the A1 Highway and Transylvania Highway.
“There should be a mobilization on all the sections of these highways, so they could be completed in a short period of time. We, the four mayors, will press as much as we can the Romanian Government, first of all, to make it understand the priorities of the country. When a country has a very good connectivity, it already is attractive, it becomes attractive for investments. Romania’s zero priority so far is to raise its mobility level to a different league. This is the zero priority, to focus all the resources on the highways. The Western Alliance will prove to be a force that will accelerate, among other things, the construction of these two highways, it will bring its contribution, even if the alliance is not the one that will make them. But our voices cannot be ignored”, Nicolae Robu stressed.
Timisoara Mayor also mentioned that he heard that the mayors who formed the Western Alliance were called “the four guys who scared the West” and added that the mayors don’t want to scare anybody, but be partners.
Nicolae Robu also stated that “centralism” which is “detrimental”, should be abandoned.
“This detrimental centralism, the time of centralism has passed, decentralization and the principle of subsidiarity must be applied. The ministries are choking, they are not capable, they cannot cope with all the problems of a country of the size of Romania. Decentralization is a must and we must understand there is a sense of responsibility, even higher when the distance to the citizen is smaller. We meet the citizen directly, we are informed about his needs and he penalizes us if we don’t satisfy them. Like this, we are somewhere far away, in a tower, in a building from a capital city, and we pretend that we decide and make everything there. It’s not a normal thing. Even if all the people from there would be valuable, things wouldn’t work as in an organization based on decentralization and subsidiarity”, Nicolae Robu stated.
According to the Timisoara Mayor, the mayors of the four cities could do “small” things even starting from 2019. These things include promoting city breaks in Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, Oradea and Arad, so that the tourists will spend a weekend in all the four cities. Also, city cards available for all the four cities, offering a number of facilities to tourists, as well as bus rides to transport people from Timisoara to the Cluj-Napoca airport, from where several flight routes are available, could be introduced.
The mayors of Timisoara, Cluj-Napoca, Arad and Oradea have launched the Western Alliance (AVE), a partnership by which they are planning to attract EU funds directly from Brussels, for joint projects.