Regional Development and Tourism Minister Elena Udrea was criticized yesterday for not attending a meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Regional Development (REGI) despite being present in Brussels. The criticism came from Social-Democrat MEP Victor Bostinaru. Udrea had been invited to present a report on the achievements of the Ministry she leads. “The colleagues from the REGI Committee interpreted the Minister’s absence as an affront to the European Parliament, as the refusal of a dialogue that could have put her into an uncomfortable position when queried about the alarming situation concerning Romania’s absorption of European funds,” the Social-Democrat MEP argued in a communiqué. Liberal MEP Ramona Manescu, coordinator of the European Liberals within the EP’s REGI Committee, asked Elena Udrea to resign, arguing that she defied the EP. In reply, the Regional Development and Tourism Ministry explained that Udrea was in Brussels on her own initiative and it was decided at Ministerial level that secretary of state Razvan Murgeanu should hold a presentation within REGI while Udrea was meeting EC Vice President Antonio Tajani.