Maia Sandu says division into districts will be kept in new administrative reform


In the coming weeks, the Government could unveil the concept of a public administration reform to be put up for public discussions, announced President Maia Sandu. According to her, the reform will not touch the country’s division into districts, but will rather focus of a redistribution of powers from the district councils to the town halls.

In an interview with NordNews, Sandu said that during meetings with mayors, they always complain about the inefficiency of the district councils.

“Clearly there is inefficiency at the level of district councils, there is dissatisfaction among the town halls and communities, because the money is not distributed fairly. For example, the European Village is a project that is not implemented based on political criteria. Among beneficiaries are town halls with mayors across the political spectrum, because we believe in competition. In the case of the district councils, we see the policy of the previous governments when money is distributed according to political criteria, so obviously the mayors are dissatisfied”, said Sandu.

Still, according to her, the new reform does not involve the dissolution of districts, as speculated, but rather a redistribution of subject-matter jurisdiction.

“The Government and Parliament are discussing how things could change. Scrapping the districts is not on the table, because this administrative division is enshrined in the Constitution. But solutions are being examined as to how the jurisdiction of the district councils can change and how resources can be allocated differently, in a more efficient and fair manner. We will see if in the coming weeks the Government can reach a solution which it is able to debate publicly and then implement. The administrative reform will essentially mean this: certain powers of the district councils will be shared with the first-level public administration and with other central-level authorities”, added Maia Sandu.

Per the Constitution, Moldova is divided into villages/communes, cities, districts and the Gagauz autonomy as a separate entity. Large cities meeting certain standards may be upgraded to municipalities. To change the Constitution, a two-thirds super-majority in Parliament is required.