European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Cretu, urges again the Romanian authorities to absorb and use European funds.
The European Commission proposes an additional ten percent worth of European funds for Romania, Bulgaria and Greece over 2021-2027. European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Cretu, on Monday made the announcement at a Bucharest conference on cohesion policy, which provides for European funds to also be allocated for countries that are far below the European average in terms of development. Commissioner Cretu has again pointed out that the Romanian authorities do not apply for the funds available in Brussels, destined to such important areas as the transport or health infrastructure. Thus, during the current multiannual financial framework, Romania has lost 1.8 - 2 billion Euros out of the total 19.5 billion Euros allocated. Romania can absorb 31 billion Euros, including the funds for agriculture, Corina Cretu has said.
She explains: “It is very important for European citizens in every country to know what has been done with those funds and what can be done in the future, all the more so as we have to cope with an anti-European language which becomes increasingly conspicuous. I think Romania cannot afford the luxury of even thinking about the idea of leaving the EU, particularly now when it is about to take over the presidency of the EU Council which gives it the opportunity, as an EU leader for six months, to change things for the better from the inside.”
Also on Monday, the European Commissioner had talks with Prime Minister Viorica Dancila and with the Ministers of European Funds and Health, Rovana Plumb and Sorina Pintea respectively. She made it clear that she wanted to know if the Romanian Government still plans to use European funds to build regional hospitals in Cluj, central Romania, Iasi in the East and Craiova in the South-West or whether those hospitals would be erected under a public-private partnership. According to a Government press release, solutions for the construction of the three regional hospitals were already identified during those talks.
The discussions also focused on the absorption of European funds for the transport infrastructure, Corina Cretu giving assurances that she will grant Romania all the necessary support. This has been the European Commissioner’s first meeting with political officials in Bucharest after this month she said she regarded the lack of infrastructure projects for which Romania could get community funds as an offense.
A Romanian herself, a member of the Social-Democratic Party herself, supported by the former Social-Democrat leader and prime minister, Victor Ponta, to become an MEP, Corina Cretu had become quite critical of the current Bucharest government headed by Viorica Dancila. At the time, the media speculated that the cold relationship between the Commissioner and her colleagues at home might also have political grounds. Next year, she concludes her term in office as European commissioner and the Social-Democratic Party has not even proposed her as a candidate for the European Parliament election due next May.eaLTH