The European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Ciolos yesterday promoted the idea of territorial reorganisation by stating in Iasi that Romania’s regionalisation might be beneficial for the absorption of EU funds, as well as for curbing bureaucracy. However, the decision exclusively belongs to Romanian authorities, he added. The European official paid a visit to Iasi, and met local authorities for talks about European funds and other topics related to European policies. According to Ciolos, a strategic approach regarding the development of a region might be useful, especially due to the fact that, during 2014-2020, there will be some conditions negotiated by the European Commission with each member state, concerning the commitments of reaching certain goals by using the funds. “From this perspective, a possible decision to enforce the regionalisation might bring a benefit to the way European funds are being used. I refer to both the quantity and quality of the absorption, to the results achieved by absorbing the funds. I want to emphasise that, during 2014-2020, exigencies concerning the use of funds will refer not just to how the money are used, in terms of quantity, but also to the results achieved by using the funds,” Ciolos said, quoted by Realitatea.net.
The European commissioner added that, if a national strategy includes a regional approach that clearly defines such strategic targets, then the regionalisation of Romania might prove beneficial. “I want to make it clear that the European Commission will never impose a member state a certain way of organising its territory. The decision regarding regionalisation, whether it is made or not, belongs to the member state, in this case it belongs to Romania,” Dacian Ciolos stated.
New round of talks in the coalition
Moving on to another topic, Democrat-Liberals are trying to resume talks on territorial reform in the coalition and to bring their government partners back to the negotiation table. The spokesman for the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL), Sever Voinescu, announced, yesterday, that a work group of the coalition would convene, on July 11, in Parliament, to address the matter of administrative-territorial reform. Voinescu stated that the topic was on the agenda of the PDL’s National Standing Bureau (BPN) meeting. He further stated that the Democrat-Liberals would be represented in the group by Mircea Hava, George Scripcaru, Dorin Florea and Sever Voinescu. “This group made up of representatives of every party in the coalition will convene, next Monday, at 3pm, in Parliament, to discuss matters related to the administrative-territorial reorganization,” Voinescu argued.
The honorary president of the National Union for Romanian Progress (UNPR), Cristian Diaconescu, admitted, yesterday, that it was a deep political division that prevented an in-depth talk on territorial reform and the modification of the Constitution. “We believe that it was an error to postpone the discussion of both technical and in-depth matters as regards Romania’s administrative reorganization. At this moment, as long as it relies on bureaucratic mechanisms, which encourage corruption and prevent the absorption of European funds at local level, Romania stands no chance of making quick progress,” Diaconescu stated.