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AN INTRODUCTION TO UDITE MEMBERS FROM THE ROMANIAN FEDERATION  AAPRO

AN INTRODUCTION TO UDITE MEMBERS FROM THE ROMANIAN FEDERATION  AAPRO

The Association of City Managers in Romania (AAPRO) was set up in 2010, as a way of continuing with sustainable activities following the successful implementation of the project “Public administrator – success factor for an efficient management at local level” carry out by the Central Unit for Public Administration Reform, a structure within the Romanian Ministry of Administration and home office.

The initiative to introduce the  city manager position at local level in Romania targets an increase in the professional working of local public administration at the county, city and communal level. The city manager can be appointed on the proposal of the Mayor or the president of the local county council, with the approval of the local/ county council. The city manager ’s responsibilities include the coordination the the local authority administration and those public services at the local/ county  level that our overseen through  delegated powers..
Currently in Romania, approximately 500 city managers are employed, as follows:

  • 37 city managers employed within the County Councils and 4 vacancies, out of a total number of 41 counties
  • 70 city managers employed within the Municipalities and 33 vacancies, out of a total number of 103 municipalities.
  • 54 city managers employed in cities and 65 vacancies, out of a total of 216 cities
  • 339 city managers employed in the communes and 350 vacancies, out of a total number of 2850 communes.

Currently there are  approximately 459 vacancies open across local government in the different categories of public institutions throughout the country.
AAPRO objective is focusing on   the build up of a pool of  competent City Managers who are well prepared for the challenges they can face and are able to carry out there roles with a high level professional integrity.  
The stated purpose of the Association of city managers in Romania is to create the formal and informal networks that can  encourage and facilitate communication between city managers,between them and national authorities, civil society and the business community. ; A particularly important skill now for the City Manager of tomorrow will be to collaborate effectively with local and national administrations  in a consultative way to deliver  successful joint projects and disseminate  best practices to focus on continual improvement of the profession.  
Vocational Training and is also an important priority with both Romanian and foreign authoritie.  This includes vocational training institutions, higher education sector, where a two way process of is achieved:- 1) To continue the  professional development of the AAPRO members but also reciprocally, improve professional development curiculums for the continual improvement  of the teaching processes of the Romanian school of public management
All city managers in the country, whether employed at the level of communes, cities, municipalities and counties, can choose to become members of the association. The Association of City Managers in Romania provides membership benefits including  the opportunity to develop professionally, to exchange experiences with city managers in the country and abroad and to organise and participate in joint professional training courses.
The interests of members of the Association of City Managers in Romania are defended by the association when  issues of  competence, working conditions, and salary are challenged fron the sector or by national authorities., the increases regarding the implementation of the projects with European financing.
Our challenges
The main challenge faced by City Managers in Romania is the current amendment of the legislation regarding the concept and status of the city manager in Romania.  According to the  Administrative Code issued in 2019, the city manager can now by recruited hired without competition directly by the mayor and the president of the county council..
In these conditions, the dismissal of the city manager can be done extremely easily, without too many arguments. At the same time, once every 4 years, depending on the situation in which the mayors / presidents of the county councils lose their mandates, the city managers will be moved on as well.. Given that  the training of a professional city manager takes years, this is a short sighted solution that is not conducive to the medium term independence, stability and continuity of the authorities executive from one mandate to the next.

AAPRO's expectations for UDiTE

Joint professional training projects, continuous exchanges of experience, guides of good practices, models of local public administration, city manager status, competencies, partnerships with companies. All communities need to become creatively smart, intelligent communities. For this reason, it is necessary that in all local administrative bodies, the position of the city manager has to be clearly defined. It is indeed  their task that cities and municipalities are developing through the concept of smart city, digitalisation, urban regeneration, energy efficiency, etc.