How efficient is the Anghel Saligny investment scheme?

Anghel Saligny - Romanian engineer, popular in Fetești-Cernavodă in the 19th century and, more recently, a name that makes political coalitions tremble and involved citizens involved put their hands on their heads.

It has been almost a month since we took part in the debate of the Ministry of Development on what was to become the Emergency Ordinance for the approval of the "Anghel Saligny" National Investment Scheme. We were horrified then to see how it was planned for 50 billion RON to be allocated superficially and at the risk of abuses and serious politization.

Fast-forward and now the ordinance is adopted, despite our protesting, and the Ministry organised a new debate regarding the methodological rules of application. One thing is certain - there are still many ambiguities about how exactly the projects in the Anghel Saligny Program will be financed. Moreover, the mayors of rural or small urban communities seem to agree with us - instead of solving some problems and contributing to territorial cohesion, the Program risks deepening some imbalances even more. We hope, however, that the Ministry will take into account all the concerns and recommendations made in the public debate and that, in particular, it will continue its efforts to make transparency in the allocation of these funds. In the end, we believe that we all agree that in the Romanian communities there must be basic things for a 21st century life (water, canal, roads, etc.). But it matters as much that the money goes where it can be managed responsibly and where it is most needed.

We have identified four elements that the authorities need to take into account:

  1. Transparency - a principle that must be followed to the end, maybe even through #OpenContracting
  2. Public participation - locals are the beneficiaries, so how do they take part in the decisions of this scheme?
  3. Supervision - also at the local level there is a need for opportunities to supervise contracts
  4. Coherence of budgetary politicies - it's out of the frying pan and into the fire because the rules deepen the suspicion of a gap between this budgetary policy and the other financing programs of the country.

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