by Peter Donk
SLIEDRECHT – The relationship between the partner municipality, the village of Sliedrecht and the town of Orăștie in Romania, is so close that, as far as Mayor Jan de Vries (CDA) is concerned, it will continue in the coming years. This also applies to De Vries for the grant to the Stichting Stedenband Sliedrecht-Orăștie. “A return visit is planned for next autumn,” the mayor said on Wednesday, June 1, 2022, during a lunch interview with the online newspaper Sliedrecht24.
On Wednesday afternoon, the mayors Ovidiu Laurenţiu Bălan (Orăștie) and Jan de Vries (Sliedrecht) spoke to the online newspaper Sliedrecht24 about their relationship over the years, about what they learn from each other, the moments of relaxation and learning and especially about the long relationship between Sliedrecht and Sliedrecht. Orăștie, which evolved from requests for help from that time. (Photo by Peter Donk / Sliedrecht24)
The conversation – mostly in English – was also led by Adriaan Pot from the Stichting Stedenband Sliedrecht-Orăștie. Tomorrow, Thursday 2 June 2022, a four-day visit will be concluded by a delegation from Romania. The visit was postponed for two years due to corona. It is clear that the relationship between the two municipalities has grown in recent years, but that the content has changed. Pot told about the start back then with the town of friendship from the municipality and the transformation into a foundation somewhat later. He praises the organization for the volunteers and also the way of ‘reaching out to each other’. “We need to get rods to fish with,” Pot says, “Our relationship is very good. We email or video contact. There’s a friendly relationship.”
learn from each other
About twenty years ago, it was primarily about providing aid to poor Romania. Since Romania became a member of the European Union, much has been improved and modernized in the country. In 2022, the relationship with the partner municipality Sliedrecht will be completely different. The bond of friendship today is more about ‘how do you do things and how do we do things’. Knowledge transfer, collaboration perhaps where necessary and can and can talk a lot with each other about innovation. “Take the Fixi reports, for example,” says De Vries, “in Orăștie they are a little longer in terms of transparency.” Mayor Bălan, who has worked in this field for about ten years, says he learns a lot from things by ‘seeing them with his own eyes’. He calls the improvement / construction of cycle paths in Romania something ‘to take with’. “It’s easier to look at people you know with whom you have a friendly bond. We also see that work is done here, the municipal differences, and we also include water management when we visit Kinderdijk. ” The first citizen of Sliedrecht emphasizes that there are mutual learning moments, that it is about continuing the relationship, and that it is sometimes more about transferring technology and innovation. De Vries also refers to this as the time we now live in: “There is war in Ukraine. We are talking about receiving refugees, but also about inflation. Some things are no different. “
Today and tomorrow
It is now the last days of visits by twelve people from Romania. On Wednesday morning, a presentation of digitization and a spatial renewal program plan was closed in the town hall. There are also a few things on the agenda Wednesday afternoon and tomorrow. After dinner, the group went on an excursion to Amsterdam. A cruise, a city walk and dinner in the evening are planned. Early in the morning on Thursday morning, June 2, 2022, there will be a consultation and visit to the ASVZ location Merwebolder on Touwbaan. After lunch, the departure to the airport is scheduled around 3pm on Thursday afternoon. The delegation then flies back to Romania. A new meeting between the partner municipalities, a return visit from Sliedrecht, is expected in September / October 2022. The dates have not yet been set.
This article has been shared with the editors of Orăștie24.