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West Quadrilateral / Four counties joined to directly access European money for major infrastructure projects

de Vladimir Ionescu , 8.10.2018

From right to left: Gheorghe Falca, Nicolae Robu, Ilie Bolojan. Emil Boc, Mayor of Cluj Napoca, misses

Four mayors from the West of the country are no longer waiting for promises to start large-scale infrastructure projects and have decided to access European funds by themselves for the construction of highways and high-speed railway lines.

It is about the representatives of Cluj Napoca, Timisoara, Oradea  and Arad, who announced on Wednesday the establishment of an alliance that will request in Brussels for financing some major projects to interconnect the four counties.

The “West Quadrilateral” solution will solve the infrastructure problem at the local level, which will increase the gap between this region and the others – they are anyway four net contributor counties to the state budget, they already have salaries above the national average, an economic activity and strong foreign investments, as well as a living standard competing with the capital city.

On the other hand, this alliance will be a concrete example to inhabitants of counties where presidents of county councils and mayors got frozen into the so-called “local barons” category, poverty stagnated under their leadership, if not expanded, and where they have not accessed the European money, but turned to national funds distributed by political criteria through the Ministry of Regional Development.

The announcement of the Quadrilateral’s establishment was made at Hub Urban Talks, an event organized in Timisoara, where experts from the World Bank and the European Commission, international experts from the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland, leaders of the public administration and the business community also participated.

“We, Nicolae Robu, Gheorghe Falca, Ilie Bolojan and Emil Boc, mayors of Timisoara, Arad, Oradea and Cluj-Napoca, have decided to establish the West Quadrilateral, an informal forum for exchanging ideas and know how, and cooperating on large projects, primarily of high-speed connectivity and at the cultural level.

We propose for this structure to be the framework for exchanges of ideas and know-how but also to initiate together major infrastructure projects, especially to improve the connectivity between the four cities – high-speed railway, highway, expressway – and for the cooperation in the fields of culture, education, health, tourism, sports, security.

We also want to give an example of cooperation at the national level of how to approach large projects that are inaccessible if approached individually by each of us.

You cannot get a source of funding if you come with a piece of such a large project; you have to come with the whole.

It is well known that the European Union also has major projects for which money can be obtained directly from Brussels. There are several sources of financing and we want to get to them and start working effectively within this quadrilateral of the West,” said Nicolae Robu, quoted by Gazeta de Cluj.

Gheorghe Falca, Mayor of Arad, explained that the alliance intends to extend to other counties as well, such as Caras-Severin:

The four cities signed a working document. Then we want to sign with other mayors.

There are four major themes, of which one is the European Cultural capital City. The culture can be extended to all beautiful areas of Caras Severin, to the historical potential of Hunedoara, to the wines of Arad, to the thermal waters of Oradea, to the tourist potential of Cluj“.

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