Law and government
Bucharest has a unique status in Romanian administration, since it is the only municipal area that is not part of a county. Its population, however, is larger than that of any other Romanian county, hence the power of the Bucharest General Municipality (Primăria Generală), which is the capital’s local government body, is the same as, if not greater than, that of any Romanian national county council.
The city government is headed by a General Mayor (Primar General), as of 2008 Sorin Oprescu. Decisions are approved and discussed by the capital’s General Council (Consiliu General) made up of 55 elected councilors. Furthermore, the city is divided into six administrative sectors (sectoare), each of which has their own 27-seat sectoral council, town hall and mayor. The powers of the local government over a certain area are therefore shared both by the Bucharest Municipality and the local sectoral councils with little or no overlapping of authority. The general rule is that the main Capital Municipality is responsible for citywide utilities such as the water and sewage system, the overall transport system and the main boulevards, while sectoral town halls manage the contact between individuals and the local government, secondary streets and parks maintenance, schools administration and cleaning services.
The six sectors are numbered from one to six and are disposed radially so that each one has under its administration a certain area of the city centre. They are numbered clockwise and are further divided into sectoral quarters (cartiere) which are not part of the official administrative division:
- Sector 1 (population 227,717): Dorobanți, Băneasa, Aviației, Pipera, Aviatorilor, Primăverii, Romană, Victoriei, Herăstrău Park, Bucureștii Noi, Dămăroaia, Strǎulești, Grivița, 1 Mai, Băneasa Forest, Pajura, Domenii
- Sector 2 (population 357,338): Pantelimon, Colentina, Iancului, Tei, Floreasca, Moșilor, Obor, Vatra Luminoasă, Fundeni, Plumbuita, ștefan cel Mare, Baicului
- Sector 3 (population 399,231): Vitan, Dudești, Titan, Centrul Civic, Dristor, Lipscani, Muncii, Unirii
- Sector 4 (population 300,331): Berceni, Olteniței, Giurgiului, Progresul, Văcărești, Timpuri Noi, Tineretului
- Sector 5 (population 288,690): Rahova, Ferentari, Giurgiului, Cotroceni, 13 Septembrie, Dealul Spirii
- Sector 6 (population 371,060): Giulești, Crângași, Drumul Taberei, Militari, Grozǎvești (also known as Regie), Ghencea
Like all other local councils in Romania, the Bucharest sectoral councils, the capital’s General Council and the mayors are elected every four years by the population. Additionally, Bucharest has a prefect, who is appointed by Romania’s national government. The prefect is not allowed to be a member of a political party and his role is to represent the national government at the municipal level. The prefect is acting as a liaison official facilitating the implementation of National Development Plans and governing programs at local level. The prefect of Bucharest (as of 2012) is Georgeta Gavrilă.
The Municipality of Bucharest, along with the surrounding Ilfov County and several other neighbouring counties are part of the Bucharest development region project, which is equivalent to NUTS-II regions in the European Union and is used both by the Union and the Romanian Government for statistical analysis and regional development planning. The Bucharest development region is not, however, an administrative entity yet.