“We have an obligation to run fast, responsibly and productively so that the next five years will be a period of creative upheaval and reform.” With these words he opened the proceedings of the Union of Regions of Greece (INPE) the regional governor of Attica Nikos Hardaliasas chairman of the General Assembly of the Union for the Election of the Members of the Administrative and Supervisory Board.

The regional governor of Attica stated that the beginning of the term of office of the new regional authorities is the opportunity for the effective implementation of decentralized governance – “the time has come to move to a new model functioning of the state”, as he characteristically said – with clarified roles and responsibilities, but also with direct cooperation of all institutional levels of the State.

Analyzing his strategic planning for the next five years, Mr. Hardalias focused on the “metropolitanity” of the Attica Region – “a concept that has not yet been implemented in practice”, as he emphasized – as a basis for establishing clear responsibilities and ensuring all of the necessary resources, in order to achieve sustainable solutions to major issues of citizens’ daily lives, such as dealing with the consequences of the climate crisis, security, waste management and social cohesion.

In this context, the regional governor emphasized that it is immediately necessary to grant the Attica Region the horizontal supervision and the consequent responsibility of all the metropolitans under implementation projects, so that they are completed on time for the benefit of the citizens. “In Attica we are ready to assume our responsibilities. And we have the strong will to boldly move forward. Metropolitan, inter-municipal and local. To take big, fast and steady steps, for the benefit of all 66 municipalities of the Basin. Utilizing the last euro they trust us with transparency and honesty. Equally, but with priority in the neighborhoods with the biggest open issues, with an emphasis on our most vulnerable fellow citizens” Nikos Hardalias underlined, pointing out the will of the government to establish the necessary legislative tools in this direction.

The regional governor of Attica emphasized the need to speed up the institutional changes as well as an integrated development strategy, in order for the two levels of self-government – as he said – to keep up with European and international good practices. “13 Regions, 13 identities, 13 policy strategies and priorities,” he added.

Nikos Hardalias, on the occasion of the recent meeting of the regional governors with the prime minister, said that for the first time in Greece there is a clear will from the government to structure an appropriate legal framework for the establishment of a new, decentralized model of governance, which will cure the pathologies of past. The aim of this reform, as he said, is to develop a coherent strategy for the maximum possible claim and absorption of the available resources – the highest in the last fifteen years – in order for the regional authorities to achieve the implementation of “a realistic plan of projects and interventions that will be supported by sufficient funding and will ensure the country’s sustainability in the face of current needs, but above all in the face of challenges and crises that we will be called upon to manage in the future.”

Through this process, the regional governor underlined, a new administrative paradigm is created, based on responsibility, “without bureaucratic anchorages, party barriers and expediencies”, offering the possibility for effective actions “with clear timetables, specific implementation mechanisms, clear targeting, transparency, continuous monitoring and accountability”, in order to achieve the goal of balanced development for each region of the country. “As a politician I love responsibility, that’s why I am ready to cooperate, understand and coordinate with everyone, in order to achieve our great goal. To be efficient and useful. Let’s give solutions. To honor the trust of the citizens, who so generously offered us”, concluded Nikos Hardalias.