Minister of Foreign Affairs Leonard Orban said yesterday that “tough negotiations” are taking place between EU states, because net contributor countries want the budget to be reduced, thus endangering the cohesion policy, Money.ro reports. “(…) During the last meeting of the General Affairs Council (…) two camps took shape: the member states that are in favour of important allotments not only at the level of the entire budget, but also at the level of the cohesion policy, and the net contributor states that want a reduction by at least EUR 100 bln against what the European Commission has proposed, which is EUR 1,025 bln,” Orban explained. On the other hand, he appreciated that during 2007-2013 it would be “logical” for Romania to benefit from more funds. Orban said that the sums will be granted to sectors like transportation, energy, environment, health, but the conditions for spending the money will be tougher. Leonard Orban admitted that Romania has a very low absorption rate, which however doubled from the moment when the Ministry of European Affairs was founded. The Minister of European Affairs added that the suspension of the Operational Programme for Fisheries, which has a total of EUR 320 M, might be lifted these days, until the beginning of May. Orban added that, two weeks from now, he will propose the Government to adopt a memorandum with measures aimed at removing the bureaucratic procedures related to accessing European funds by beneficiaries.