Romania has to draw European funds of approximately EUR 30 M weekly until the end of this year in order to get the same level of structural funds in 2014-2020, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn stated yesterday after meeting Premier Mihai Razvan Ungureanu at the Victoria Palace where he held a press conference at the end of the meeting held by the inter-ministerial committee on the absorption of European funds, Mediafax informs. “According to our calculations, Romania should receive at least the same sum of money (in the financial framework 2014-2020 – editor’s note) in order to continue all projects started, projects that have to improve the Romanian citizens’ living conditions. Consequently, it’s very important for Romania to prove that it can use existing funds,” the European Commissioner stated. He underlined that Romania should hike its absorption rate as a precondition for the new allocation from the EU budget. The EU Commissioner also pointed out that Romania is yet to overcome the danger of having the payments from European funds suspended, but for now it is within the timetable of measures agreed in order to remedy the deficiencies discovered. In his turn, Prime Minister Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu assured the EU Commissioner that the government will focus on major programmes financed from European funds, in order to implement the plan to improve absorption of EU funds. In this context, the Premier pointed out that the government is determined to avoid “any interruption of payments, considering that that would lead to the disengagement of funds until the end of the year.” “It’s an issue of realism, that forces me to be aware of this problem and to channel our efforts so that this won’t happen,” the Head of Government underlined.
EU fund managers have to take responsibility for both successes and failures
At the same time, Johannes Hahn drew attention to the fact that the administration has to be reformed without interruption and civil servants that manage European funds have to take responsibility for both the successes and failures of the absorption process. “I have to say there is an unwieldy administration and this was the greatest challenge, simplifying, clear responsibilities. This means that, at the end of the day, you need a person that takes individual responsibility, who can receive applauses but who risks losing his job too. We need this type of leadership at any level in order to be successful,” Johannes Hahn added. The government plans to draw European funds of approximately EUR 6 bln this year. President Traian Basescu recently stated that he does not rule out the possibility of seeing Premier Mihai Razvan Ungureanu running for President with PDL’s backing, however he should first be successful as Head of Government, underlining that the main criteria on which his success will be judged is the absorption of EUR 6 bln from the European Union this year. One week ago the Premier warned the ministers and heads of management authorities that he holds them responsible for drawing European funds of EUR 6 bln this year.