European Grants Minister Rovana Plumb: Our target is for over EUR 30 bln to enter Romania in two years

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Rovana Plumb, nominated European Grants Minister, stated on Monday during the confirmation hearings in the specialized parliamentary committees  that the essential goal for her term is to achieve sustainable economic growth.

The members of the two committees have endorsed her with 18 votes in favour, 11 against and no abstention.

Rovana Plumb stated at the end of the hearings that she always had a good relationship with Brussels, that one of the priorities is for Romania to absorb, by 2020, 72.5 percent of the European grants allocated to it, and expressed her conviction that “the way we behave will not have any kind of impact on the grants, not domestically nor externally.”

At the end of the hearings, Rovana Plumb stated: “The vote empowers me as a member of the next governmental team. The major objective of the next three years is to ensure smart, sustainable growth that will create the premises of a strong, proactive state and of a balanced society, but also the expansion of the middle class in Romania. It’s essential to hike investments.”

Boosting the absorption of European grants is “very necessary for the implementation of all the measures we brought before Romanians.”

Referring to the proposed objectives, she pointed out that one of them is for Romania to absorb, by 2020, 72.5 percent of the European grants allocated to it, which means “bringing to the country over EUR 30 billion.” By the end of the financial framework, in 2023, the absorption rate should reach 100 percent, News.ro informs.

In what concerns the priorities of the upcoming period, in 2018 the ministry will transmit to the European Commission reimbursement requests totalling approximately EUR 1.7 billion.

She explained that this sum refers “exclusively” to the programmes managed by the European Grants Ministry along with others.

During the confirmation hearings, Roberta Anastase asked her whether the linkage between the rule of law and European grants risks affecting the country, however Eugen Teodorovici insisted on giving a vague answer in the nominated minister’s place. Rovana Plumb then explained that “our main objective is for the allocation of European grants to be at least at the level of the current financial framework 2014-2020. The rest is being discussed and I’m convinced that the way we behave will not have any kind of impact on the grants, not domestically nor externally.”

“My main preoccupation will be to devise a plan of measures, technically discussed with the EC too, so that the targets I proposed would avoid the loss of European money,” she stated about the disengagement.

Rovana Plumb’s relationship with Brussels “was and is very good,” she stated, adding that “there is a lot to learn.”

Concerning the Viorica Dancila Government, she is “convinced that it will respect everything we told Romanians during the elections campaign of 2018, and that they will benefit from a better life via the implementation of the governing programme measures.”

Nominated European Grants Minister Rovana Plumb also said she told the special parliamentary committee that “our target in relation to the 42 billion earmarked is for EUR 30 billion to enter Romania by 2020, and one hundred percent by 2023.”

“Let me present some of the priorities of the governing programme, which received a vote of confidence from millions of Romanians. We have great responsibility, we are capable of doing this. The essential objective is to achieve an intelligent, sustainable economic growth that would ensure a balanced society, an expansion of the middle class. The major stake for attaining this essential national objective is boosting investments. Investments that will take all aspects, in order to lower disparities at regional level. Investments have more sources of financing – state, private or European grants; boosting the absorption of the funds is a primordial measure in order to boost competitiveness and boost each Romanian’s quality of life,” Rovana Plumb stated.

According to her, EUR 42 billion has been allocated from European structural funds for 2014-2020, and in what concerns operational programmes the sum made available is EUR 23 billion, Hotnews informs.