There is always a way to join the Covenant of Mayors!

There is always a way to join the Covenant of Mayors!
Published by Liliana Topliceanu and Isabelle Meifren on 21/03/2015

To achieve the European Union objective for 2020 concerning the GHG reduction, a common effort of all the communities, large or small, is necessary. During the last years, a significant number of rural communities from Romania joined the Covenant of Mayors, the movement which promotes the voluntary commitment to reduce the GHG emission with at least 20% by 2020. Unfortunately, the difficulties in performing the base line inventory and in developing the SEAP in due time determined the exclusion of a large part of the small communities. The problems which caused this situation have been identified as: lack of knowledge and staff, lack of a vision to draw a long term plan, and insufficient financial resources. However, the local authorities are willing to progress, to be part of the process and to participate in specific activities of the European Union.

The solution offered by the CoM for this situation consists in configuring a group of small rural communities. This structure has to sign the adhesion called “SEAP Option 2”, which involves the development of a single, common SEAP.

Considering this possibility, the twelve Romanian communities involved in the project formed a group named “Bacau County for Covenant of Mayors” and signed the agreement on February 26, 2013. These communities comprise together a number of 89 small villages, with a total population of 38,488 inhabitants and a surface around 74,520 hectares. Because the communities are part of Bacau County, the County Council acted as Territorial Coordinator. The adhesion ceremony was held at Vasile Alecsandri University of Bacau, in the presence of the twin partners from Pays de l'Albigeois et des Bastides and SOLAGRO. CLER and a large number of national and regional representatives, such as those of the Ministry of the Environment, Agency for Environmental Protection, North-East Regional Development Agency, NGOs and others have joined the event.

The BEI and the SEAP were realized with the joint efforts of the communities and Vasile Alecsandri University of Bacau, with the support offered by Bacau County Council. The SEAP was approved by all the local councils and, finally, by Bacau County Council. All the required documents were sent to the CoM. This experience allows us to state: “There is always a way to join the Covenant of Mayors!”