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December 1, 2022

Romania must change its energy strategy, start shale gas exploitation

The president also stated on Friday that Romania could get EUR 400 million in 2014-2015 to reduce youth unemployment under a EUR 6 billion program set by the European Council.

President Traian Basescu, who participated at the summer session of the European Council taking place on Thursday and Friday in Brussels, stated that the Government must achieve a program to reduce youth unemployment, and table it before Jan 2014, in the context that the EU Council decided to allocate six billion Euros to the EU countries to generate jobs for the youth.
According to President Basescu six billion Euros is granted to create jobs for the youth, during 2014-2020 exercise, and the money has to be spent over 2014-2015. “Out of the six billion Euros, Romania receives 400 million Euros and it is aimed to the disfavored people, living both in the countryside and towns and cities. Therefore, the Government can direct the 400 million Euros to reduce the youth unemployment, during the coming two years,” Basescu said in a press conference organized after the European Council, quoted by Agerpres.
He pointed out that in Romania, the money will go to the areas where the youth unemployment is higher than 25 percent, namely in the south Wallachia, central and south eastern Romania. He also stressed that beside the EU Council Program another program developed by the European Investment Bank named Investments in Competence and Jobs for Youth is in progress, and Romania ought to access it, as well.
Besides this aspect, president Basescu talked also about the EU’s decision to open the talks for a stabilization agreement with Kosovo, and added that Romania abstained in this case – “a fact which, however, does not block the EU decision”.
He also mentioned that he informed the European Council that Romania is to redefine its energy policy, pointing out that it has an obligation to speed up the evaluation process and to switch to shale gas exploitation. “Of course, I informed the European Council that Romania is to redefine its energy policy, starting from own resources and without expecting anyone’s approval. Without going into details, I can tell you what is my option now, without any doubt: Romania has an obligation to speed up the evaluation process and switch to shale gas exploitation. As well, to assess and pass to the exploitation of gas and crude oil already confirmed in the Black Sea,” said Basescu at the end of the European Council, noting that he raised the issue of Nabucco project “failure” at that meeting.
According to the President, if the Executive will be determined, Romania could benefit of gas at least 50 per cent cheaper, by the exploitation of shale gas ahead of the date on which Nabucco was supposed to be ready. In this context, Traian Basescu mentioned that Romania could have gas from the Black Sea at a reasonable price, also ahead of an opportunity to receive gas through the Nabucco pipeline.
Basescu added that Romania should have alternative energy sources in order to avoid reliance on one supplier alone. “Romania’s objective is to have alternative sources. South Stream means that the same supply source is maintained. So the most important message of this brief analysis – that’s how I also introduced it to the Council – is that Romania doesn’t want to further depend on one supplier alone and that we are self-defining our energy policy, in the wake of the failure of the European project (Nabucco). So we cannot wait till the Union creates a new project the success of which is also unsure. We have elements to succeed on our own and we’ll do it, or at least should do it, very quickly,” said the head of state.
On the other hand, the president declared that the European Commission’s Country-specific Report on Romania points to health care and labour productivity as lacking. “As concerns the report on Romania, I can tell you that it remarks the improvement of the country’s macroeconomic situation, which is also the reason why the exit from the excessive deficit procedure was approved today by the passage of the country-specific recommendations,” said the head of state.
Also on Friday, Basescu added that the issue of having the ‘n +3’ rule extended to other states was indeed raised at the European Council by Bulgaria and received “a fitting reaction” because Romania really “battled for this,” and no additions are made to what was obtained in February.
Conclusions of the European Council
The European Council taking place last week agreed on a comprehensive approach to combat youth unemployment. It also endorsed country-specific recommendations to guide Member States’ policies and budgets, thus concluding the 2013 European semester. In addition, the European Council assessed progress towards the banking union. It also warmly welcomed Croatia as a member of the European Union as of today.

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