On World Water Day we realise we are behind with EU funds absorption.
“Besides the EUR 5.6 bln EU funds we still need EUR 1 bln ‘in order to fulfil made commitments. I have approached the Ministry and Finance as well as EIB to find a way to deal with this issue’, Environment and Forests Minister Laszlo Borbely said yesterday. According to him, Romania is ‘some percents’ behind with fulfilment of its commitments in connection with access to water supply that is now 33 per cent in rural areas.
‘World Water Day makes us speak of clean water, a field in which Romania lags behind a few percents – less than 10 per cent – in respect of sewerage and cleaning stations compared to commitments we have made to the EU’, Borbely said at the National Congress on implementation of the Operational Programme for Environment. The minister said ‘we are still behind with fund absorption, but, in 2010, the ministry intends to conclude EUR 2.5 bln worth of agreements, which would take the total value of existing agreements to EUR 3.8 bln. So far, ‘about 11 agreements have been concluded under water components and four under waste components’. The Environment Ministry intends to supervise local authorities managing EU-funded projects in order to prevent implementation delays.
Regarding the other programme axes, a first agreement worth EUR 75 M was concluded in Iasi last week, with ‘4 – 5 more cities pending entry to programme soon’. In another train of thoughts, the Ministry of Environment awaits the EC recommendations regarding the action it is supposed to take in the matter of the formaldehyde plant over which Romania got the Commission’s final warning on Thursday.