Considerations about administrative decentralization and local autonomy in Romania

AuthorCatalin Silviu Sararu
PositionDepartment of Law, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania
Considerations about administrative decentralization
and local autonomy in Romania
Associate professor Cătălin-Silviu SĂRARU1
Decentralization is not the opposite of centralization, but its diminution,
diminishing the concentration of powers. By means of decentralization certain public
services of local interest are transferred from the competence of the center to that of some
local public administration authorities, which have independence from the central power,
are autonomous and are not subordinated to it. The idea of decentralization implies the idea
of local autonomy. Local autonomy means the right and effective capacity of local public
administration authorities to solve and manage public affairs in the name of and in the
interest of the local communities they represent, under the law. In this article we analyzed
the legal means of achieving administrative decentralization and local autonomy in
Romania. At the end of the article we made some de lege ferenda proposals, considering that
the European principle of subsidiarity and the French model of the decentralization contract
should also be a reference point for the Romanian legislator.
Keywords: administrative decentralization, local autonomy, administrative
decentralization contract, subsidiarity principle, ad ministrative law.
JEL Classification: K23, K33
1. General considerations
The local public administration bodies have limited territorial competence
at the administrative-territorial unit in which they operate, unlike the central public
administration bodies, have a country-wide territorial competence.
In a democratic state, local government bodies have decision-making
autonomy and have their own resources. They cooperate with the central public
administration bodies and implement their regulations in full respect of the principles
of unity and indivisibility of the Romanian state provided by article 1(1) of the
The Constitution of Romania, in art. 120 regulates the basic principles of
local government. Thus, the public administration in the administrative-territorial
units is based on the principles of decentralization, local autonomy and the
deconcentration of public services. In administrative-territorial units where citizens
belonging to a national minority have a significant share, it is ensured the use of the
language of the respective national minority in writing and orally in the relations
1 Cătălin-Silviu Săraru Department of Law, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania,

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