Romania’s current absorption rate of the total European funds for operational programmes, with the exception of agricultural money, amounted to 5.48 percent, or 1.23 billion euros, as of early February 2018, according to data with the Ministry of European Funds.
Actual absorption, representing reimbursements from the European Commission, is 4.91 percent (1.1 billion euros).
Effective absorption is zero under operational programme human resources development, running on a budget of 4.37 billion euros. Absorption under operational programme regional development was 0.37 percent (out of 6.6 billion euros); under operational programme administrative capacity it is 3.74 percent (out of 553.1 million euros); under operational programme competitiveness it is 5.83 percent (out of 1.32 billion euros); under operational programme infrastructure and environment it is 9.11 percent (out of 9.41 billion euros); under operational programme technical assistance it is 20.96 percent (out of 212.7 billion euros), while under operational programme small and medium-sized enterprises it is 83.78 percent (out of 100 million euros).
If the funds for agriculture are added, the current absorption of European funds is 11.81 percent for an effective absorption of 10.07 percent.
European Funds Minister Rovana Plumb has set to attract two million euros worth of European funds in 2018 that will go mainly to priority areas in the governing programme.
“The target is set at two billion euros. Excluded form it are the areas managed by the Ministry of Agriculture, namely the National Rural Development Programme and direct payments (…) The money that we earmark this year will go as a priority toward the areas that are priorities according to the measures proposed under the governing programme. It will go toward education, healthcare, the labour market, the business environment, where, besides these European structural and investment funds, we have other instruments as well. But speaking of European structural and investment funds, the business environment, which is the backbone of the economy, will continue to receive support in all areas, ranging from research and innovation to capacity-building. Credit lines have already been opened for them. And, of course, [the funds will go toward] social assistance also. According to its regulations and the vision at a European level, the European Social Fund has an allocation of 4.5 billion euros, out of which 23 percent for the social assistance area, in a constructive sense, not social assistance as in granting financial aid. What I mean by social assistance is deinstitutionalisation of children, the elderly, or people with disabilities, because we are headed for a transition of social services at every citizen’s level,” Plumb Tuesday told Realitatea TV private broadcaster on Tuesday.
She said that on Wednesday, a guide that was up for public consultation, designed for education, which is heading towards the digitisation era, will be approved “and there will be an information system that will benefit over 1 million children and over 70,000 teaching staff.”