Association of Women Entrepreneurs in Galati, Romania Organizes Debate with Candidates Ahead of Local Elections

Last week the Association of Women Entrepreneurs (AFIR) Galati organized a roundtable titled “The Development of Galati City”, which featured candidates in the local elections scheduled for June 10. This is the first time in the current election campaign that such an event has taken place in Galati, the seventh largest city in Romania in terms of population.

In organizing the debate the Association of Women Entrepreneurs in Galati partnered with Cartel Alfa trade union – Galati branch.

The roundtable brought together six (out of the twelve) candidates for mayor of Galati, who had the opportunity to present their views and plans for the development of Galati City. It must be noted that all twelve candidates have received an invitation to the roundtable, but only six of them decided to participate.

In order to provide equal access and rights to all the candidates, the organizers used a pre-determined format. Each candidate had the right to give a speech up to 5 minutes long, and focus on the development of Galati City, as reflected in their political platform. The public played an observer role whereas journalists had the right to ask two questions and seek clarifications from the candidates. In turn the candidates had one minute each to answer the journalists’ questions. The debate was facilitated by Mrs. Mihaela Jantea,  member of AFIR Galati. 

The format of the event ensured fair and equal treatment of all the candidates and none of them was able to monopolize the debate to the detriment of the other candidates. The local business community, journalists and the general public had the opportunity to hear the candidates’ vision and views on the future of their community.

The roundtable drew the attention of several media outlets and it was covered by local newspapers such as the Monitorul de Galati and Viata libera. The articles are available at the following addresses: http://www.monitoruldegalati.ro/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=12883:cine-se-teme-de-dezbateri-in-plina-campanie-electorala&catid=26:actualitate and

http://www.viata-libera.ro/politica-administratie/30725-viata-libera-galati-zona-metropolitana-candidati-ciumacenco-necula.

Regardless of the results of the elections in Galati on June 10, one thing is certain: the local association of women entrepreneurs has demonstrated its active involvement in shaping the future of its community. In addition it achieved greater visibility and credibility in Galati and not only. The Association of Women Entrepreneurs in Galati has to be commended for organizing this roundtable ahead of the elections, as well as for contributing to a functional democracy in Romania.

AFIR Galati (www.afirgalati.ro) was established in 2004 and it is a founding member of the Coalition of Women Business Associations in Romania (CAFA), an informal entity which currently has nineteen members – women business associations and women’s organizations whose common goal is to have a voice in the decision making process. Between 2004 and 2006 CAFA (www.cafa.ro) received support from CIPE and it is now a standalone entity.

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