Covenant of Mayors
  Covenant Coordinators & Supporters June 2012  
Sustainable energy as a regional priority
{{{Interview with Simion Creţu, Director of the Centru Regional Development Agency (Romania).}}} The Centru Regional Development Agency (RDA) is among the first such bodies to join as Covenant Coordinator. Indeed, in countries where there are no self-governing regions to assist municipalities with fulfilling their Covenant of Mayors commitments, regional development agencies are eligible to undertake this role. Having joined the Covenant community just a few months ago, the Centru RDA has already well integrated the Covenant of Mayors as a flagship part of its regional strategy for sustainable development.

Covenant of Mayors Office: Why did the Centru Regional Development Agency decide to join as Covenant Coordinator? How do you think can this new role serve your regional strategy for sustainable energy development?

The Centru Regional Development Agency is a non-governmental body coordinated by a Regional Development Board whose members are the representatives from the six counties of the Centru Region: Alba, Braşov, Covasna, Harghita, Mures and Sibiu.

Our goal is to reduce the development gaps between different parts of the region and to increase our regional competitiveness in Europe by implementing policies that are based on concepts such as sustainable development, job creation and the promotion of SMEs’ access to innovation and research.

In the spirit of these principles, which underpin our Regional Development Strategy and are reflected in earlier initiatives aimed at integrating energy in the development priorities of the region, we have decided to become an ally of the European Commission in the Centru Region and more actively involve our communities in the achievement of Europe’s 2020 targets.

Through the actions we will undertake as Coordinator of the Covenant, we will support the localities from the Centru Region in developing their Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs), identifying and implementing concrete projects to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions, and increase the use of sustainable energy resources. These projects will form an integral part of our Regional Development Strategy for 2014-2020.

CoMO: How will the guidance and support activities oriented towards Covenant Signatories be organised concretely?

The Centru Regional Development Agency has a specialized department dealing with the design of programmes and projects and which is responsible for the implementation of European and regional policies. Experts from this department have already engaged in promotion and dissemination of the Covenant of Mayors initiative.

Looking ahead, our experts plan to work hand in hand with the other local energy agencies from the region and offer technical support to local authorities, new signatories of the Covenant of Mayors, in order to elaborate and implement their SEAPs.

As part of the role we play in the regional planning and programming of the EU financial assistance for 2014-2020, we will support regional sustainable energy as a priority field in our region.

CoMO: Could you mention some of the most promising iniatiatives which have so far been initiated in the region with the cooperation of local authorities ?

Among the initiatives we undertook in collaboration with local authorities we could highlight:

1. The setup of a research cluster on renewable energy, funded with the support of the “RenERg EuReg project”, financed by the FP7 programme. The cluster was initiated as a partnership between local authorities, companies and research centres in the Centru Region.

2. Information campaigns for local authorities about the Covenant of Mayors and training for the development of the SEAPs. These actions were carried out with the support of the ENESCOM project, financed by the Intelligent Energy Europe programme.

3. Another notable initiative is the project PromoBio-“Promotion to Regional Bioenergy Initiatives”, which targets both local authorities and companies to encourage them to develop new business opportunities promoting the local use of biomass for energy purposes.

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  The sole responsibility for the content of this newsletter lies with the Covenant of Mayors Office. It does not necessary reflect the opinion of the European Union. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein. The Covenant of Mayors was set up with financial support of the European Commission and consists of five associations of European local authorities: Energy Cities, Climate Alliance, Eurocities, CEMR, Fedarene, and ICLEI Europe.

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