Challenging aspects for Romania’s green economy transition


Motto: “The primary investors in an area are the members of the communities that live/choose to live there”.

There are several issues that can be addressed and prioritized in order to facilitate more efficient green economy transition at national and local levels.

Public administration reform

The current administrative-territorial paradigm and the current state of (under)development pushes us to focus our current operation on subsidies and development on external funds, contrary to good practice in developed economies. We fail to forecast correctly at the beginning of the year the necessary expenditure, to prepare for times of crisis, to save – indeed we have become accustomed to living on debt.

Whitening the economy before greening the economy. From a governmental point of view, one of the most major needs right now is to improve the capacity of taxation system (Ban & Rusu, 2019). In order to achieve this goal, governmental and economic stakeholders need to design and facilitate a better environment for SMEs, in order to stimulate the growth of so-called ”white economy”. A genuine public administration reform requires also state capacity building reform (audit and increasing the efficiency of public administration, and raising the quality of public servants through more professional hiring procedures and constant trainings for the employed), and territorial reform.
Nonetheless, after the progress reached in the term of open government goals (OGP Partnership, Portfolio of Ministry for Public Consultation of Civic Dialogue, etc.) for the beginning of the 2010 decade, we need to mobilize forces and prioritize on tripartite social dialogue and provide digitalisation of the administration.

Critical infrastructures

Romania’s critical needs mean also massive investments and PPP to improve national critical infrastructures, especially in terms of better connectivity, polycentric regional development, sustainable urban mobility, and environmental resource management. The solution could be FDIs, but at the moment Romania’s overall capacity in term of innovation, competitiveness and attractiveness is low. On the other hand, Romania could bet on NextGen European Funds, but in order to achieve this we need a coherent national strategy for the efficient attraction of European funds.

R&D&I Framework

The Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation highlight, Romania’s investment in research and development is the lowest in the EU (0.5% of GDP). We can observe also the investment gap between governmental (344 M Euro, 2018) and nongovernmental (688 M Euro, 2018). Growing R&D capacities could be a mid and long term goal for Romania sustainable development, but in order to achieve some progress we need to multiply actual investment four times at least.

Alexandru-Grig VULPE
anthropologist & management consultant 

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