Behind every successful construction project are the talents and skills of dedicated engineers, and the Romanian Association of Consulting Engineers (ARIC) aims to defend the interests of these key professionals. Founded in 1999, ARIC represents around 90% of the domestic and foreign design and construction-supervision enterprises active in Romania. Michael Stanciu, President, discusses the association’s main interests and mission.
European Times: What are ARIC’s chief goals?
Michael Stanciu: ARIC defends its members’ interests, supports high-quality training programs and promotes EU standards. It is driving the development of a viable consulting-engineering industry in Romania based on quality, a code of ethics, sustainability, transparency, best practices and innovative technologies. My priority as president is to make sure our industry employs the standards of FIDIC (International Federation of Consulting Engineers) and EFCA (European Federation of Engineering Consultancy Associations). ARIC is working to change the priority in Romania’s construction industry from cutting costs to focusing on quality.
European Times: How is ARIC involved in Romania’s infrastructure projects?
Michael Stanciu: ARIC works with other associations to have a stronger voice in encouraging best practices, not only in how public infrastructure contracts are awarded but in how the work is done.
European Times: How should authorities solve current problems in the construction sector?
Michael Stanciu: One step at a time, and the first step is to promote quality instead of low costs. The government is trying to use EU funds for large infrastructure projects in 2017 and it is essential that these projects involve professional designs, realistic time tables – it is insane to have to design 100 km of motorway in six months – proper budgets and quality engineering and construction practices. I believe the government should ask for help from international funding organizations in implementing the country’s new law on awarding public projects based on quality. Romanian authorities need to work together with professionals in the field to find the right solutions.
European Times: What is your message to potential investors?
Michael Stanciu: Romania is a tremendously attractive market. For example, the country needs another 2,400 km of motorways and it has access to €11.3 billion in EU funding for infrastructure projects between 2014 and 2020, yet few projects have been launched so far. We really need to get these projects off the ground and make sure they are done in the right way. Romania has amazing human resources, needs development, and can be the greatest opportunity in Eastern Europe for the next 10 to 15 years.