Brought together with haste and great difficulty, in order to form what was called the Ciolos Team, the heterogeneous Government of technocrats seems to be having difficulties living up to the current exigencies of this year’s economy and society.
After the Labour Minister resigned out of her own initiative 10 days ago, yesterday it was the Premier’s turn to ask for the resignation of another member of Government. The event took place in Iasi, where PM Ciolos and members of the Government had working meetings with Moldavian MPs and local authorities.
Before finding out the two sides’ preoccupations with the large social-economic problems of Romania’s poorest region, the public opinion found out about the resignation of European Funds Minister Aura Raducu. “At the Prime Minister’s request, I am filing my resignation from the office of European Funds Minister. I accepted being part of this government team believing that I would manage to introduce a new approach and a new type of management in this important European funds domain,” Raducu said.
Subsequently, Premier Dacian Ciolos announced that he wants a new approach at the European Funds Ministry and that he will come up with a new minister in the shortest of times, “probably tomorrow” (today – editor’s note).
“I had a discussion with Ms. Raducu last week and we jointly agreed on this. I appreciated and I appreciate her activity so far, she started out with a difficult situation at the ministry, she used all of her expertise in the European funds domain in order to unblock certain things, she got personally involved to a great extent in order to unblock certain things she found there. (…) However, we jointly agreed that at this moment I would like to move on to a new stage of approach at the ministry, and in these conditions I accepted her resignation,” Ciolos stated on Monday at a press conference in Iasi.
Although the PM says that he is satisfied with the activity of his former colleague, the reality is that the “momentum” expected to take hold at the European Funds Ministry is not visible. And that after Romania had one of the lowest European fund absorption rates in the 2007-2014 financial framework. For 2014-2020, the European Funds Ministry seems to have worked on slow motion so far. A simple example is eloquent. The Large Infrastructure Operational Programme, which benefits from European allocations of almost EUR 12 bln, has not registered so far any call for projects that would benefit from EC funds.
Aura Carmen Raducu took over as European Funds Minister in November 2015. Prior to that, she was main manager for European programmes at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.