European Commissioner Corina Cretu has recommended a deep-going administrative reform to improve the absorption of European funds in Romania
European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Cretu, urged Romania to step up the implementation of European-funded projects. She said she was dissatisfied with the delayed completion of infrastructure projects and in general with their slow implementation. On a visit to Bucharest, she said that there are too many local officials of all sorts in Romania, whereas in other countries, there was an administrative authority for every region, discussing directly with the European Commission. The Commissioner warned that despite the progress made in the last few months, Romania risked losing significant EU funds. Corina Cretu:
“There is a further danger of Romania losing money and this country should make continued and greater efforts. I’m glad that a number of measures have been proposed, which if they were applied, could immediately yield results and Romania would not lose large sums of money by non-commitment.”
Meeting with an official in Brussels, the governor of the National Bank of Romania, Mugur Isarescu spelled out the advantages of community funds, pointing out that in the last ten years of EU membership, Romania had benefited from over 45 billion Euro worth of EU funds. Considering Romania’s contribution to the EU budget, the net absorption of European funds stood at about 30 billion Euros, Isarescu said. The Governor of the National Bank insisted that the European funds were the chance of Romania’s modernization, particularly in infrastructure, not only the transport infrastructure, but also the education and healthcare ones. He warned that without European funds, Romania would be deprived of an essential source of capital. He underscored that the delayed absorption of European money or the absorption of smaller sums of money impacted the balance on the currency market and the exchange rate. As an example, over 2014-2020, the European Commission has made available to Romania over 20 billion Euros for investments in the economy; only 5% of that sum has so far entered the country. Corina Cretu said that in the next period, a first form of the EU multi-annual budget for the post-2020 period is being decided and the cohesion policy would undergo changes and reforms. Corina Cretu:
“The seventh report on the cohesion policy demonstrates very clearly that a low quality governance, the authorities’ low administrative capacity hinder economic development. That is why, in any country, we need further structural reforms directly related to the EU reform agenda.”
The Commissioner pleaded for the simplification of bureaucratic procedures in the absorption of European funds so that there should be a single set of rules, an issue that must be negotiated by the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament, Corina Cretu said.
(Translated by A.M. Palcu)