Regional Development and Public Administration Minister Sevil Shhaideh (photo L) took part in Brussels, on June 23, alongside European Commissioner Corina Cretu, in the signing of the European Commission decision to adopt the Regional Operational Program 2014-2020.
The funds earmarked for the Program in 2014-2020 total EUR 8.25 bln. The program will finance environment, local infrastructure development, SMEs competitiveness support and regional development programs.
ROP represents a very important source for the development of Romania and the reduction of the development gaps between the country’s regions and between the country and the European average.
“Today we have adopted one of the biggest investment programmes in the European Union. It will bring concrete benefits to all Romanian citizens. By supporting the small enterprises, promoting urban mobility, improving regional connectivity and offering better access to social services for all citizens, these investments will result in a significant improvement of Romanians’ lives. Moreover, the investments in energy efficiency will cut the energy bills for household consumers and will protect the environment. I wish Romanians to fully benefit of the opportunities offered by this programme,” Commissioner Cretu declared.
According to a press release issued by the Ministry of of Regional Development and Public Administration (MDRAP), minister Shhaideh mentioned that the Operational Programme is the greatest contributor to Romania’s regional development.
“The programme stipulates the financial allocation for the 11 priority axes (plus axis 12 – technical assistance) where the 8.25 billion euros allotted to Romania for regional development will be invested over the next seven years. Out of the total budget, 6.7 billion euros are EU’s support through the European Regional Development Fund. We are practically marking the beginning of a new stage in Romania’s development,” she said.
The programme covers nine of the 11 thematic objectives of the EU Cohesion Policy; it will continue financing investments of the 2007-2013 term: social, healthcare and education infrastructure, small and medium enterprises, county roads and tourism. It will also add new categories of projects: thermal rehabilitation of public buildings, cadastral works and technology transfer centres.
“The new programme is a better version, more accessible for the beneficiaries, owing to the inclusion of the Commission’s recommendations for the simplification of rules: standardized project calls for all the axes, fewer documents filed with the financing requests, additional points for projects in advanced preparation stages, shorter evaluation and selection stages,” Shhaideh asserted.
The Operational Programme was open to public consultation in March 2014. Its official version was sent to the European Commission in August 2014. The guidelines for applicants were open to public consultation in May 2015