Romania’s North-East region has the highest rate of absorption of European Funds in the 2007-2013 period, said on Saturday, in Iasi, European Commissioner Corina Cretu, in the debate titled “Dialogue with citizens”.
“Although it is the poorest, the North-East region of Romania has the highest rate of absorption of EU funds in the 2007-2013 period. You have used the money far better than the seven other regions of Romania,” said the European Commissioner.
Corina Cretu also appreciated the fact that the City of Iasi knew how to use European funds for quality projects.
“It’s a city that truly used in the most efficient way European funds for modernizing the Capital of Moldova,” she said.
Present at the debate, MEP Catalin Ivan emphasized the way in which the funds led to major changes of Iasi.
“We are fast to forget how it was before. We forget how the boulevards looked like, we forget the traffic jams at the Central Library. We forget and we want everything to look very good. We forget how Iasi looked like without the Octav Bancila overpass, that two large neighborhoods were isolated from the city center. We have the impression that the overpass (e.n. – built with European funds) was always there. It wasn’t the case. Maybe we should present more often how the city was and how it is now,” said Catalin Ivan.
On the other hand, during the Iasi debate, the European Commissioner emphasized the importance of cohesion policies at the EU level and underlined the need to fight populism and Euroskepticism.
“I consider mayors, local authorities, my partners in implementing cohesion policies. (…) It is maybe the most visible policy, that shows how Europe can change for the better the day to day lives of citizens. Maybe our biggest weakness is that we do not manage to fully communicate what are the benefits of the EU, of European funds, of the European budget which is currently a budget of solidarity, including financial solidarity, between less developed states and developed states. From this point of view I believe it is our duty to fight the growing populism, the Euroskepticism, but, surely, we must also learn from the critiques of citizens,” said European Commissioner Corina Cretu.
Among the topics tackled in the debate were also the future of the European Union, the role of Romania in Europe, as well as the opportunities and challenges of the European Union.