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March 8, 2021

Corina Cretu: “I will avoid all situations where my independence could be questioned”

The Commissar-designate for Regional Policy, Corina Cretu, has answered the written questions asked by the members of the European Parliament assuring them that she would avoid all situations where her independence and impartiality could be questioned, promising to transpose into practice the objectives of the cohesion policy, Mediafax reports.
The Members of the European Parliament have sent all 28 commissar-designate a set of questions to which they provided answers in writing by last Friday. Some of the questions were common for all 28, with regard to general competence, European commitment and personal independence or cooperation between the Commission and Parliament. Other questions addressed portfolio specific matters. The questions and answers were published on the EP website on Monday.
Regarding the general competence and motivation, Corina Cretu said she had been in charge of European matters in the previous 14 years, experience that helped her gain ‘a good knowledge’ of the European institutions and their working methods.
‘As an economist and through my political experience in my home country and in the European Parliament I am  convinced that EU Regional Policy is a powerful tool to create jobs, growth and promote the integration of disadvantaged groups, particularly but not only in the least developed regions’, reads the answer provided by the Romanian MEP.
Corina Cretu’s message to her current colleagues in the European Parliament is that she would act to implement the strategic agenda of the Juncker Commission, in such a way that the cohesion policy can make a substantial contribution to the creation of jobs, growth and investment.
As far as her independence is concerned, Corina Cretu notes she is ‘fully aware’ of the obligations of the commissars foreseen in the Treaties, stating that she is ‘deeply committed’ to comply with the highest ethical standards.
‘I guarantee that I will avoid any position or situation which could put in question my independence, impartiality and availability to the Commission and I will inform the President-elect of any situation which might involve a conflict of interests in the performance of my official duties’, Corina Cretu says. The commissar-designate promises to cooperate with the other members of the Commission in keeping with the working methods set by the president-elect.
At the same time, Cretu notes that she would make sure the European Parliament receives all relevant information and documents in a timely fashion and will make sure that the Commission responds to parliamentary resolutions or requests within 3 months after their adoption. Asked about how the effectiveness, efficiency and impact of the European funds could be maximised to reach the EU 2020 goals of smart sustainable and inclusive growth, the commissar-designate for Regional Policy answered by stressing that the Cohesion Policy had undergone a reform for the 2014-2020 period, by strengthening its links to the EU priorities. ‘. I will ensure in the ongoing negotiations of Partnership Agreements and programmes with Member States and also later at the implementation stage that this ambitious reform agreed by the EP and Council is translated into reality’ she wrote to the MEPs. The Parliament also wanted to know how the Commission, involved in the structured dialogue with the EP, would take into account any EP reservations when proposing to suspend part or all of the commitments or payments. The Romanian MEP reminded that the EP The Parliament may invite the Commission to a structured dialogue, in particular in cases where the suspension of payments is at stake, and that she would give due consideration to the Parliament’s opinions. Corina Cretu also notes that the EC gives special importance to how partnership agreements and operational programmes are compatible with national reform programmes and Commission recommendations and the spending of EU funds must tackle identified economic challenges. The hearing of the commissars-designate on the EP committees began Monday afternoon. Corina Cretu will be heard by the REGI Committee on Wednesday from 10 am, Romanian time.

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