According to the Executive chief, all sectoral operational programs have been unlocked. Nonetheless, Romania was disadvantaged in the allocation of EU funds for 2014-2020 due to poor negotiations.
The wager with the European funds has been won and Romania will absorb EUR 500 million, PM Victor Ponta stated during a presentation of the Partnership Agreement between Romania and the EU concerning the 2014-2020 multiannual financial mechanism, held before the Chamber of Deputies in collaboration with the Minister for European Funds, Eugen Teodorovici.
“Today, all (e.n. sectoral operational) programs, without exception, have been unlocked. (…) I believe Romania can finally say it has won a wager, after losing so many, and I wish to thank all those who made winning this wager with the European funds possible,” the Prime Minister stated, as noted by jurnalul.ro.
It was obvious that Romania was disadvantaged when structural European funds were allocated for 2014-2020 in correlation with the population size, compared to other nearby states. “What matters now, as the European Commission says, is to not cry over spilled milk. We are not crying, but we should know that Romania’s cup of milk is less full than our neighbors’,” Ponta said, adding that President Traian Basescu should have asked the Parliament for a negotiation mandate for a time span when he would no longer be president, according to Mediafax.
“I think even when Romania’s representative, namely the president, negotiated the allocation of funds for Romania, he should have conducted the negotiation based on a mandate given by the Parliament,” Ponta said further. However, he also found a reason to thank Basescu in the plenum: negotiating the n+3 rule, based on which the European Commission will finance projects initiated between 2007 and 2013 for another three years after the fiscal year ends, limited to the amount of money that has not been absorbed so far. “I wish to thank everyone – secretaries of state, ministers, the President of Romania – who contributed to passing the n+3 rule,” the PM added.
Gov’t to use EU funds to reduce major discrepancies
Prime Minister Ponta said that the funds allotted to Romania by the European Commission for 2014-2020 will be mainly used for reducing major discrepancies between different Romanian regions and counties, implicitly by developing the road and railway infrastructure and continuing the sewerage projects and the projects aimed at providing access to gas. At the same time, Ponta said that according to an intention previously announced, only the Agriculture Ministry, the Ministry of Public Administration and the EU Funds Ministry will continue to have management authorities, with the rest of the ministries and authorities going to comprise only intermediary bodies, with a view to a better coordination.
Opposition: Current absorption rate is due to the PDL government
The opposition however warned that “this fantastic absorption rate” is the result of old projects that does not belong to the acting government. “In May 2012, the effective payments amounted to EUR 4 bln. Now you reached repayments worth the same sum. Boast the absorption on projects you contracted, not on the projects contracted by us,” PDL deputy Alexandru Nazare answered, quoted by gandul.info. If PDL claims that the text will be sent back by the European Commission to Bucharest, UDMR, through former minister Laszlo Borbely, considers that the text of the accord is “a lucid analysis” and shows that “all parties, because they were all in the government, were wrong during these years.”