Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos on Friday said after talking to European Commissioner Corina Cretu, that the Regional Operational Programme (POR) for 2007-2013 is blocked following an audit by the European Commission, and that only a few projects for the 2014-2020 period are ready to be implemented.
“The visit by Mrs. Corina Cretu and our meeting today were very useful to me so I could have a more accurate idea on the stage we are as regards the finalization of the 2007-2013 programme, where I found the Regional Operational Programme obstructed pending an audit by the (European) Commission, yet I understood things could be unblocked fast in order to resume payments. There are only a few weeks in which we could make payments and reduce losses, as much as possible, to increase the absorption degree,” the Prime Minister said in a joint statement with the European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Cretu.
As for the 2014-2020 financing period, the Premier said “there are still many things that were not done at this stage.”
“We have discussed a lot about the new period, 2014-2020, where are several things, too that were not done yet at this stage. The IT system is to be completed, it’s still nonfunctional, the accrediting procedures are not yet finalized and there are still certain ex ante conditionalities to be met so we could launch the projects.(….) From what I saw, there are only a few projects to be prepared so they are ready to be implemented and here too I intend to use the human resources, the international expertise of the European Investments Bank, or the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, of the World Bank that could send us experts with technical assistance funding from EU funds, from the structural funds in order to help the beneficiaries to complete their projects,” explained Ciolos.
The European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Cretu is paying an official visit to Romania and will also have meetings on Friday with Vice Premier Vasile Dancu, with Health Minister Patriciu Achimas Cadariu, and with European Funds Minister Aura Raducu.
“CE expertise on recruitment procedure of administration staff to be completed in few weeks’ time”
PM Dacian Ciolos also stated on Friday that an expertise financed by the European Union for the elaboration of certain procedures, criteria for recruiting and evaluating administration staff ensuring transparency and professionalism in the process of hiring, will be completed in a matter of weeks.
Ciolos made the announcement at the end of a meeting on Friday with Corina Cretu, European Commissioner for Regional Policy. On the occasion, the prime minister pointed out that one of the goals of his term is to start and strengthen the process of professionalization of the administration, in particular “the agencies, management authorities handling European funds, where there is already a degree of professionalization given all the training conducted in the past years.”
Ciolos pointed out that there are administrations that can work according to criteria such as transparency, de-politicization and efficiency, and stressed that it is possible to attain performance, and those wishing it are welcome in these structures.
The prime minister mentioned that during the meeting with EU Commissioner Cretu the two tackled the topic of infrastructure projects that can be launched and financed through European funds.
Commissioner Cretu: Romania needs stability of authorities managing EU funds
European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu said on Friday there is need of stability at the level of the Romanian authorities that manage the EU funds in the coming weeks so as to end the 2007-2014 programming period as well as possible.
“I discussed with the prime minister a plan of measures and actions and I was glad to see this preoccupation for increasing the absorption rate. In our opinion, at least in these six weeks [till year-end] Romania needs stability at the level of the management authorities, so as to boost its efforts aimed at closing the 2007-2014 programming period under as good as possible conditions”, Cretu said at the Palace of Parliament after meeting Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos.
The commissioner added she had noted the prime minister’s concern for reforming the public administration and underlined that “professionalism and experience are indeed essential at the level of the management authorities too”.
“The administrative capacity, in my opinion, is more important than money. We’ve had money in many member states. They wait for the money from Brussels, but lacked the capacity of having mature projects and absorbing this money”, the Romanian commissioner stressed.