The Parliament of the Republic of Moldova adopted in the second and final reading the draft law on voluntary amalgamation – an important step towards raising the efficiency of local government in providing better services to citizens. During the drafting process, best European examples of amalgamation which proved to be efficient over the past decades, were taken into account.
Amalgamation plays a vital role in creating more efficient local public services management centers which, in their turn, lead to higher living standards for its inhabitants. Amalgamation contributes to a more efficient budget planning, saving and execution; better organisation, planning and implementation of public procurement centered on the needs of the citizens; integration of necessary public services – like water sanitation, electricity, gasification and others.
Amalgamation has several other advantages, among which access to two major types of grants: for investments in infrastructure and public services and for supporting the general expenses of local budgets. Besides, the amalgamated local government units will receive a preferential regime in all investment programs implemented by the government or international donors.
The decision regarding amalgamation is taken by all local councils involved. As a precondition, it is necessary to have a geographical continuum of local communities which want to merge, the most remote village of which being within 25-30 km from the center of the new unit. The center of the new amalgamated local government unit will be the unit with higher population and/or higher fiscal capacity and/or providing better and extended public services.
The adoption of the law on voluntary amalgamation is the first significant step in implementing the new Strategy on Public Administration Reform 2023-2030, approved by the Government in March 2023.
Both PAR Strategy and the draft law on voluntary amalgamation were developed by the State Chancellery with the technical support of EU HLA Mission, USAID/IREX Comunitatea Mea, UNDP and SDC/SKAT Mă Implic, preceded by more than one year of debates, negotiations and consultations with the citizens, civil society, and major stakeholders, including CALM. With the same technical support, the work on developing the detailed methodology on voluntary amalgamation, will start soon.