Although the 2007-2014 European financial framework is about to end, Romanian authorities are now “discovering” that the Transportation and Environment ministries have failed to spend approximately EUR 3 bln from the European grants allocated.
Emanoil Radu Dascalu, secretary of state within the European Funds Ministry (MFE), responsible for the Large Infrastructure programme, emphasised at a special conference yesterday that “on the transportation side I can admit that at this moment we are closing in on the final sums. There are around EUR 2 bln not tapped. On the environment side, we have around EUR 1 bln. So we are talking about EUR 3 bln that were at Romania’s disposal in 2007-2015, so during a crisis period for Romania, one in which we did not tap these funds.”
At the same time, the MFE official pointed out that in the 2014-2020 financial framework, the current financial framework, Romania has at her disposal on the Large Infrastructure segment a sum of EUR 11.9 bln, of which EUR 9.4 bln are European Union grants.
“Many large projects became bogged down and this led to a lack of absorption of European grants. On the large infrastructure side, which includes transport infrastructure (road, rail, naval, air), on the environment side (water, sewerage, water treatment plants) and on the energy side there is a very high budget earmarked for 2014-2020, namely EUR 11.4 bln, of which the European Union’s allocation alone stands at EUR 9.4 bln. Also significant is the contribution that comes through the Regional Operational Programme managed by the Regional Development and Public Administration Ministry, where we have around EUR 8.25 bln at our disposal, of which the EU grants stand at EUR 6.6 bln. So, if we are talking strictly about European grants, EUR 6.6 bln plus EUR 9.4 bln means EUR 16.6 bln at Romania’s disposal in the upcoming period, until 2020,” Emanoil Radu Dascalu emphasised