PM: Low European funds allocated to Romania for 2014/2020 period


The Partnership Agreement draft aimed at attracting European funds will be sent to Brussels by end February,
says Minister for European Funds Eugen Teodorovici.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta believes the EUR 40 billion from the European fund budget allocated to Romania for the 2014/2020 fiscal period is too modest. “The amount allocated to Romania and Bulgaria relative to population size, namely approximately 1,000 euros per capita, is the smallest among all other EU countries,” Victor Ponta stated yesterday.
In the 2007/2013 fiscal period, the absorption rate of amounts requested by Romania from the European Commission was only 33.47 per cent. Yet Romania’s overall absorption rate was 26.49 per cent. “All our neighboring countries, even newly integrated Croatia, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, or Slovakia, have received a minimum of 2,000 euros per capita, twice as much as we do. In the words of the European Commission, we shouldn’t cry over spilled milk, since saving the initial negotiation is impossible at this point. What matters is that we use the little money we have at our disposal wisely,” Ponta said, as noted by HotNews.ro. “There is not enough money for everything Romania wants and plans to accomplish,” the Prime Minister added.
Eugen Teodorovici, Minister for European Funds, announced Romania will send the partnership agreement draft to the European Commission by the end of February. The operational programs that are to receive funding will also submitted by end March. “At the end of the meeting, you should send any comments you may have by Friday, so we can incorporate them in the final document and send it to the European Commission for analysis and approval by the end of the month,” Teodorovici told the ministers involved in drafting the documents who attended Tuesday’s meeting at Government headquarters.
PM Victor Ponta, also present at the meeting, said last year’s “otherwise accurate” appearance that authorities in Bucharest are in the habit of talking about European funds they are incapable of spending was wrong, since Romania was top of the list in reporting “an increase in the absorption rate,” compared to other EU countries. “That initial and otherwise accurate appearance that we talk about European funds we are incapable of spending proved to be false last year. The increase in absorption rate from 7 to 34 per cent proved Romania is not completely incapable of spending European funds; on the contrary, in 2013 we reported one of the highest absorption rate increases compared to other countries in the European Union. This can only be achieved by a system capable of complying with European regulations,” Ponta underlined.
One of the Government’s aims for the 2014/2020 period is to allocate more structural and cohesion funds to transport infrastructure, environmental projects, urban development, and county roads and beltways, according to data presented by the Prime Minister.

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