Vasile Bitca, Minister of Regional Development and Construction and Philipp Johannsen, Country Director and Project Manager of the German Development Cooperation through GIZ in Moldova had a meeting on Monday, 16 March 2015, at the Ministry of Regional Development and Construction. The officials discussed common priorities in the implementation of projects financed by the German government in the Republic of Moldova, some aspects pertinent to the National Strategy for Regional Development for the years 2016-2020, financial assistance, logistics and consultancy provided by GIZ to the MRDC, the information campaign ‘Building the future at home’ and other subjects related to regional development.

Vasile Bitca expressed gratitude to GIZ representatives for the cooperation hitherto and said he hoped that ‘MRDC would continue to benefit from the support of GIZ in implementing projects in the area of regional development. The National Fund for Regional Development, making up 1% of the national budget, is insufficient to cover the entire expenses for the projects related to this area. Therefore, financial assistance, logistics and guidance from international organizations such as GIZ, allows us to initiate and implement a series of priority projects in regional development, for the benefit of country’s citizens’.

In his turn, Philipp Johannsen said that GIZ would continue to provide assistance in order to improve local services in three reference areas: Water Supply and Sanitation, Integrated Solid Waste Management and Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings. ‘Since the very beginning we have had a very efficient collaboration with the MRDC and RDAs. The projects that we are implementing are not just a financial investment, but much more, they are aimed at capacity development in the area of regional development and at establishing an effective cooperation with the local public administration. A very important factor is that we must make a major effort to communicate to the parties concerned that they are in charge of the future of these projects and services’, said Philipp Johannsen. At the same time, the German official pointed out that it was necessary to diversify the sources of funding of the regional development projects, whereas investment banks and other international organizations could be among the potential co-financiers.

Alexandru Botnari, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Construction, also expressed his hopes for an ‘efficient collaboration of MRDC and GIZ and for the ministry to get involved in the future reform of local public administration, which was frequently being spoken of recently’.

Valerian Binzaru, Head of the General Directorate for Regional Development of the MRDC, has also spoken of cooperation with the local public administration in the area of regional development: ‘Currently we are working together to train local public administration authorities in terms of regional development. Furthermore, we organize public consultations aimed at identifying the issues facing the local public administration and at developing mechanisms for the settlement thereof’.

Alexandru Muravschi, National Senior Leading Policy Advisor on Regional and Local Development (GIZ): ‘The four years of collaboration have demonstrated that we have achieved a lot together. I can say with certainty that the relations between the MRDC and GIZ are very effective ones. One of the most important activities for the near future is to prepare jointly the National Strategy for Regional Development for the years 2016-2020’.

Petru Veverită, National Senior Advisor on Regional Planning and Programming (GIZ): ‘We need a more efficient collaboration with the relevant ministries and a closer collaboration with the RDAs and LPAs, that could serve as multipliers of the messages pertaining to regional development’.

Finally the officials expressed their confidence in further collaboration, as Minister Vasile Bitca said, ‘the past experience has shown that priority cooperation areas and objectives previously set have been achieved along the way’. Furthermore, it has been decided to hold such meetings between the representatives of the MRDC and GIZ more often in the future, in order to discuss the actions, issues and solutions for every segment and project apart.

Six Memoranda of Understanding for the support of regional development projects were signed on 16 December 2014, by the German Development Cooperation through GIZ, the Ministry of Regional Development and Construction (MRDC) and the rayon councils and mayor’s offices of the beneficiary communities, in the amount of EUR 6.45 million. The projects cover the following sectors: water supply and sanitation, solid waste management and energy efficiency in public buildings. German support is provided through the GIZ project ‘Modernization of local public services in the Republic of Moldova’. The total budget of the ‘Modernization of local public services in the Republic of Moldova’ project amounts to EUR 23.8 million, which is granted by the Government of Germany (EUR 12.6 million), the Government of Sweden (EUR 5.5 million), the Government of Romania (EUR 0.7 million) and the EU (EUR 5.0 million). Furthermore, the German Government has provided EUR 7.3 million for infrastructure projects, through the GIZ.