RURENER club and RES Champion League - success stories in Romania
One of the main goals of the project “Towards 100% RES communities” was to create and to animate the national RURENER clubs, besides stimulating the rural communities to join the Covenant of Mayors.
The first step to be performed was a survey conducted by UBC. Its aim was to determine how well informed the rural communities are about the Covenant of Mayors and what is their opinion about the RURENER club. The conclusions of the survey revealed that important efforts have to be made in order to promote the two associations. Therefore a number of conferences and a road campaign were organized in different locations in Romania.
A small RURENER club already existed in Romania. During the lifetime of the project, following the promotion activities and the events occasioned by the project “Towards 100% RES communities”, the number of its members grew to 95. The fact that they belong to the same group allowed the communities to exchange ideas, best practices, and to discuss various funding opportunities.
Two annual meetings of the Romanian RURENER club took place. As well, its representatives have participated to the European event organized in 2014. The impact of this event was important and stimulated new communities to join to the club. The possibility to participate in projects financed through the LEADER programme also raised the interest of local administrations. Several Romanian communities are already developing a project in this framework.
Because of the presidential elections in November 2013 and due to the hard winter, the annual meeting for 2014 was delayed, being held in March 2015. The date of the meeting generated many discussions; it was a difficult task to comply with all the demands of the rural communities.
RES Champions League has also been an action with a significant impact. The launch of the RES League in Romania was held in February 2013. The coordinator of the project, Mr. Yannick Regnier from CLER, and representatives of Bacau County Council have joined the event. As well, other the stakeholders such as the Regional Environmental Agency, teachers, students and NGOs showed interest in RES. The League is new in Romania and the rules were adopted in accordance with similar European regulations.
Two national championships were organized in Romania, in 2013 and 2014. The first competition did not involve many communities, while the second edition registered an important participation: about 36 communities registered for the four categories of the competition. The representatives of Alba Iulia municipality have also participated in the European celebration that took place in June 2014in Brussels, and was awarded with a special prize.
The reports of the League Championships 2013 and 2014 were translated and disseminated in Romania.
During the last months of the project, Vasile Alecsandri University of Bacau has received new applications for the competition in 2015, which proves that the RES Champion League was successful and its principles were implemented in Romania.