Yesterday, June 23, European Regional Policy Commissioner Corina Cretu sent a letter to Transport Minister Dan Marian Costescu, asking him to speed-up the implementation of transport projects financed with European Structural Funds and Investments. The high-level European official thus expressed her concern over the delays registered in 2007-2013, but also over for the lack of new projects for the 2014-2020 period.
European Commissioner Corina Cretu stated: “I am concerned about the slow rhythm of preparing Large Infrastructure Operational Programme transport infrastructure projects for the 2014-2020 period, but also about the large number of projects that risk not being completed. Although the European Commission approved the phasing of 30 of the 123 transport projects for the 2007-2013 period, national authorities have not managed to send to Brussels all the documents needed, so that there is the risk that Romania may not be able to use the European money allocated and will have to cover from the national budget the expenditures needed to finalise the projects.”
In what concerns the use of European Structural and Investment Funds in the transport domain during the current financial framework (2014-2020), the high-level European official pointed out: “There are significant delays in the financial and technical preparation of a reserve of mature projects necessary in order to attain the objectives of the Large Infrastructure Operational Programme. The lack of mature projects and the insufficient expenditures could eventually lead to the non-payment of funds that are extremely necessary for Romania’s transport network.”
The European Commissioner also added that the General Transport Master Plan has to be rapidly adopted in the form agreed during the 2015 negotiations between the European Commission and the Romanian Government.