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  Romania

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Basic information

Year of approval of the
SD strategy and updates

The renewed National Sustainable Development Strategy of Romania was approved by the Government and officially launched on 16 December 2008, including a presentation at the European Commission. The review process of the current NSDS was a common project of the Romanian Government, through the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MESD), and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Romania. The reviewing process ensured a broad dialog between different stakeholders, and included national authorities, public bodies, universities, the business community and civil society. The renewed NSDS takes into account the objectives of the EU SDS.

Horizon 2013: To incorporate the principles and practices of     sustainable development in all the programmes and public policies of Romania as an EU Member State.

Horizon 2020: To reach the current average level of the EU countries for the main indicators of sustainable development.

Horizon 2030: To reach the average performance of the EU Member States in that year in terms of sustainable development indicators.

Type of SD strategy

NSDS covers all three dimensions of SD.

Lead ministry/institution in
the SD strategy process

Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Management  and now the name of the central authority is Ministry of Environment and Climate Changes

 

Link to the SD strategy
document

National Sustainable Development Strategy - 'Romania 2013-2020-2030'

The full list(s) of NSDS objectives as identified by a study commissioned by Eurostat can be downloaded here:

Further information about
the SD strategy process

 

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National Implementation of 2030 Agenda for SD

[No information available]

 

Leading Ministry and
respective unit
[No information available]
Other ministries involved [No information available]
Main contact point for the
implementation process
[No information available]
Links to main websites/
documents on national
implementation of the
2030 Agenda and SDGs
[No information available]
Voluntary National Reviews [No information available]

 

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Mechanisms of Vertical Integration

National — sub-national linkages

  • Agenda 21 is the blueprint for socially, economically and environmentally sustainable development. Governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), industry, and the general public are encouraged to become part of the process. Agenda 21 provides a framework for tackling social and environmental problems, including air, water and soil pollution, deforestation, biodiversity loss, health, population trends, poverty, energy consumption, waste production, and transport issues. The principles of sustainable development must lie at the heart of any local strategy. LA21 regards sustainable development as a community issue, involving all sections of society, community groups, businesses, and ethnic minorities. Providing the opportunity for everyone to get involved, releases new resources of enthusiasm, talent and expertise that are vital to achieve sustainable development.  LA 21 focuses on social, economic, and environmental issues and develops solutions to problems through encouraging better, more efficient practices. Sustainable development is achievable without sacrificing the quality of life, but rather by learning to think more creatively and to adopt a more sustainable behavior.
  • National Environmental Action Plan. The National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP), drawn up in 1995 was updated in compliance with the National Plan for the Adoption of the Acquis Communitaire in order to provide a key instrument for setting the measures within the European integration process. In August 1998, by Governmental Decision, an Inter-Ministerial Committee has come into existence in order to implement the NEAP which requires the integration of environmental policies within those of other sectors (industry, agriculture, transport, physical planning and health). The latest version of the National Environmental Action Plan was elaborated in 2011.
  • The regional and local environment action plans. The aim of the Regional and Local Environmental Action Plan is to update the planning tools on the regional and local level in the field of environmental protection. Thus it contributes to the definition of a regional and local strategy of sustainable development.

EU linkages

The renewed EU Strategy for Sustainable Development (EU SDS) that was adopted in June 2006 foresees that Member States bi-annually report about how they address the priorities of the EU SDS. Romania has published its first national report on implementing the EU SDS in summer 2007.

 

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Mechanisms of Horizontal Integration

The National Centre for Sustainable Development (NCSD) was established in 1997. The NCSD is an independent organization, but is recognized by the Romanian Government as the main institution regarding SD competencies in the country. Its mandate is to identify the SD priorities of Romania and to address them at both national and local levels. NCSD promotes human resource capacity-building and facilitates intra- and inter-sectoral integration of national SD debates.

In 2006, the ‘Inter-ministerial Commission for the elaboration of the SD Strategy’ was established and involves representatives of all ministries. Following the recent restructuring of the Government (April 2007) the task of coordinating this process has been transferred from the Ministry of European Integration to the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Management (MMDD). Moreover, the General Directorate for Sustainable Development (GDSD) has been recently created with the responsibility to coordinate the activity of other ministries in relation to the revision of the NSDS.

The Interministerial Committee for integrating the environmental protection principles into the national policies and sectoral strategies, within which all ministries are represented, was founded in 2001 and ensures the achievement of a unitary environmental policy for the entire economy, with an important role also in the updating of the National Plan of Action for Environmental Protection.

This Interministerial Committee was updated in 2011,  functioning by the GD No. 741/2011.The first Interministerial Committee had as major responsibilities elaboration and updating the sectorial strategies in the environment protection area while the present Interministerial Committee has, as major responsibilities, the implementation and monitoring of these strategies (mainly The National Sustainable  Development Strategy ). Also, this Committee has responsibilities on climate change; renew energy, sustainable transport, public health, social inclusion, education and so on. The main tasks for this Committee, are:

  • Coordination and approval of policies and sectoral strategies for the integration of requirements of environmental protection at national level;
  • Adoption of necessary decisions required for the coherence in the process of elaboration and promotion of legal acts regarding the environmental protection field;
  • Approving the National Action Plan for Environmental Protection;
  • Approving programmes and plans to assure the integration of environmental protection field in the application of policies and sectoral strategies at national level and aims the effective mode of their application.

Its activities are concentrated on providing Interministerial support and consultation in the environmental transposition and implementation process. The integration of environmental issues and objectives in other sector policies e.g. environment in industry and energy policies, in agricultural policy and in transport and infrastructure policies is still at its beginning and will be developed in the coming period. Interministerial Committee has representatives from all ministries and other relevant institutions.

 

 

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Evaluation and Review

In September 2006, the process for revising the current NSDS was launched. It is planned to complete the revision process by the end of 2008. The revised NSDS will cover the 2009-2013 period. This will allow to harmonize the provisions of the NSDS with the provisions of other strategic documents (e.g. National Development Plan, Strategic Operations Programme) which are created for the period 2007-2013. The subsequent revised strategies and action plans will have the same time tables as the EU programming periods to guarantee a parallel monitoring of progress, also with the new National Development Plan and Strategic Operational Programs.

 

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Indicators and Monitoring

In 1998, the concept of SD was quite new in Romania. Thus, the Romanian NSDS was mainly aimed to introduce SD rather than specifying detailed objectives, actions and indicators. As a consequence, the NSDS only specifies some 13 preliminary indicators. The aim is to bring the SD indicators in line with the indicators developed by Eurostat. The indicators from the database are pursuing the objectives and ways of action established by the National Strategy for Sustainable Development on the horizon of 2013, 2020 and 2030, and are built on information available from the National Institute of Statistics, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Changes and institutions under its coordination or subordination and methodologies that are harmonized with the EU. The main function of the indicators is to meet the monitoring requirements expressed by the National Strategy for Sustainable Development, associated with the terms of the proposed targets, which in their turn are political commitments related to the strategic objectives of the sustainable development. In 2008, the National Institute of Statistics conducted a project in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Forests within a Eurostat grant. The aim of this project was to develop a set of national sustainable development indicators to monitor the objectives of the NSDS. This will also build a system for creating an institutional mechanism for monitoring, reporting and updating the NSDS, whose structures are in building up phase. The system integrates, within a pyramid structure, economic, social and environmental indicators, used to assess the three-dimensional evaluation of sustainable development in Romania. The database (SDIR) with SDI for Romania includes 103 indicators, with data series, available in the national statistical system since 2000, ranked as follows: level 1 - 19 indicators, level 2 - 37 indicators and level 3 - 47 indicators. The database will be updated and supplemented with other indicators as they will be developed and made available. The set of sustainable development indicators for Romania is divided into objectives of the National Sustainable Development Strategy, with an hierarchy on three levels:

  •      level 1: main indicators;
  •      level 2: complementary indicators, used to monitor and review sustainable development programs;
  •      level 3: progress indicators of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development of Romania, covering the range of policies it generates, including those not covered by the EU strategy

Thus defined, the set of indicators can be a solid base for the regular monitoring of progress in meeting the strategic objectives of sustainable development.
The SDI system in Romania is harmonized and congruent with the indicators used in the EU, following the basic pillars:

  •      architecture: hierarchical structure of topics, sub-themes, areas of intervention;
  •      associated concepts, definitions, classifications and nomenclatures;
  •      methods of calculation

In 2010, Ministry of Environment and Forests and the National Institute of Statistics by an Eurostat grant, conducted a project for developed a set of regional sustainable development indicators to monitor the objectives of the NSDS.

The database indicators were identified after analysing the existent indicators developed and used by Eurostat or those mentioned in other EU documents and political studies, as well as the National Sustainable Development Strategy. Therefore, these survey the target objectives and the plan of actions at the horizon of 2013, 2020, 2030, set by the National Sustainable Development Strategy and are built based on the information available at the National Institute of Statistics, the Ministry of Environment and Forests with the institutions subordinated to or coordinated by it and also the EU-harmonized methodologies.

The indicator functionality consists in understanding the territorial cohesion by measuring the strategy objectives and by providing information and supporting the policy-making process with respect to sustainable territorial development.

The database (SDIT) includes 46 indicators with data series available from 2005, structured into ten themes, as follows:

  • The knowledge society and economic and social development– 18 indicators
  • Sustainable consumption and production  – 9 indicators
  • Transport – 2 indicators
  • Conservation and management of natural resources – 3 indicators
  • Public health – 5 indicators
  • Living standard – 2 indicators
  • Social and territorial cohesion – 3 indicators
  • Good governance – 2 indicators
  • Tourism – 1 indicator
  • Local public utility  – 1 indicator

The full list(s) of indicators as identified by a study commissioned by Eurostat can be downloaded here:

 

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Participation

The creation of the NSDS was not regarded as an end in itself. To not only foster top-down NSDS processes, LA 21 projects were initiated with the support of UNDP. Currently, approximately 33 communities have completed or are in the process of completing Local SD Strategies. The NSDS points out that in order to implement the objectives, policies and mechanisms initiated by the Government in the "Agenda 21", the involvement of all social groups is necessary. Women, young people and NGOs are specifically mentioned in a sub-chapter and their contribution to SD is highlighted.

 

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Sub-national activities

An LA 21 project was launched by UNDP – The National Centre for Sustainable Development (NCSD).  The National Centre for Sustainable Development was established in 1997 under the aegis of the Romanian Academy, as an agency of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Its aim was to translate the strategic goals and objectives of the NSDS down to the local level by encouraging communities to create their own Local Sustainable Development Strategies. One of the main goals achieved in the pilot phase was the establishment of a methodology, according to which the Local Agendas were drafted in all of the participating cities. By gaining this important know-how, the effectiveness of the LA21 process was enhanced, contributing to the strengthening of the local authorities’ capacity to adopt the principles of sustainable development in their local strategies. The project covered the following stages:

Pilot phase: 2000-2003  The LA21 project started with the introduction of a pilot phase in 9 locations, which completed their respective Local Plans for Sustainable Development.

•    Creating the local LA 21 structure: Local Steering Committee, Local LA 21 Office, and Working Groups;
•    Elaboration of a Local Sustainable Development Strategy and a Local Action Plan, followed by a wide consultation process in order to secure additional inputs before finalizing the documents;
•    Identification and development of the priority projects;
•    Support for the implementation of selected priority projects, with due consideration of the need to ensuring synergies with other UNDP projects in the same locations

Second phase: 2003-2004 After the successful implementation of the LA21 pilot phase, the project expanded to 13 further locations, in which the local authorities agreed to draft their Local Action Plans for Sustainable Development. The second phase of the project also brought several innovative elements to the process, such as the new approach of diversifying the project area through the inclusion of smaller localities.

Third phase: 2004-2005 The LA21 project continued in 3 cities and 1 county, to prepare their Local Plans for Sustainable Development. The main innovation in that phase was the further expansion of the project to county level through cooperation with the MureĊŸ County Prefecture. Furthermore, the NCSD added a new dimension to the project, in 2005, through its partnership with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for the purpose of introducing the Integrated Environmental Assessment (IEA) practice in Romania.

Fourth phase: 2005-2006 The goal of the Local Agenda 21 Fourth Phase was to further strengthen the institutional capacity and raise the awareness of the authorities and the public regarding the implementation of the principles of sustainable development in the local and county development strategies and action plans in 3 cities and 1 county.

Fifth phase: 2006-2008 Continuing the established procedures for the introduction of the principles of sustainable development in the work of local municipalities, the LA21 project was further expanded to 4 cities, 3 counties, the 2nd District of Bucharest and 2 communes in Romania.

Follow up: 2009-2010 - Support for the implementation of priority projects under Local Agenda 21.

During the years of 2009-2010, the National Centre for Sustainable Development offered consultancy to local administrations engaged in the implementation Local Agenda 21. The aim was to help start the actual realization of the priority projects that had been identified as eligible for public-private partnerships.

  • National Environmental Action Plan. The National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP), drawn up in 1995 (latest version 1999), was updated in compliance with the National Plan for the Adoption of the Acquis Communitaire in order to provide a key instrument for setting the measures within the European integration process. In August 1998, by Governmental Decision, an Inter-Ministerial Committee has come into existence in order to implement the NEAP which requires the integration of environmental policies within those of other sectors (industry, agriculture, transport, physical planning and health). The NEAP-the updated version authorized by Government Decision in late 1999, includes 286 projects, out of which 233 priority projects on the list for short term and 53 on the list for medium term. The total value priority projects included on the list for short term are estimated at 2276.5 million EURO. The Romanian Government is expecting to provide some of the finances for these priority projects, and is indeed in the process of establishing a National Environmental Fund as a co-financing facility. However it will be necessary for international sources of funds to play an important part in their implementation. ISPA is recognized as a key funding source, and all projects selected to apply for ISPA funding are incorporated within the NEAP. The latest version of the National Environmental Action Plan was elaborated in 2011.
  • The regional and local environment action plans. The aim of the Regional and Local Environmental Action Plans is to update the planning tools on the regional and local level in the field of environmental protection. Thus it contributes to the definition of a regional and local strategy of sustainable development.

 

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This Country Profile has been last updated on: Monday, 27 May 2013

For the sources used in the country profiles, please click here.

 

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