Not everybody benefits from the sustained economic growth of Romania and poverty among children and in the rural environment increased significantly, European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu stated on Friday within the presentation conference of the Country Report for Romania, published by the European Commission on 27 February.
“There are four points in the country report that concern me. Firstly, poverty remains an important problem for Romania and regional inequalities increase. Although there is a sustained economic growth and new jobs are created, it is obvious that not everybody benefits from these results. Poverty among children and in the rural environment has increased significantly, which particularly concerns us,” Cretu stated.
She added that, in the European Commission’s view, no region or person should be left behind, especially children.
“Secondly, development is hampered by the lack of administrative capacity. As the report shows, bureaucracy, responsibilities and fragmented resources impede the efficiency of public administrations and jeopardizes investment. For the 2021-2027 period, we proposed 80 simplification measures for accessing European funds. The reform of the public administration is a topic we have talked about and which, in our opinion, could progress more quickly,” the European official said.
Thirdly, investments are needed in education, healthcare, social inclusion, transport, energy and environment infrastructure, she continued.
“Investments in these areas would strengthen Romania’s growth potential and improve the standard of living. The citizens also feel and understand these things,” according to the European Commissioner.
Fourthly, regions and local particularities matter.
“Cohesion and competitiveness cannot be achieved by implementing a single recipe. Everyone should improve their weaknesses. We need differentiated investments at regional level and adapted, flexible policies to meet the local needs and challenges,” Cretu stated, according to Agerpres.
FinMin Teodorovici: EU officials only feign interest in citizens, everyone for themselves
The Country Report presented by the European Commission that includes Romania in the imbalanced states’ category was drafted based on media-provided information and placed in a wrong context, and the European officials often only feign interest in the EU citizens, while seeing to their own interest, Romanian Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici on Friday told an event organised by the European Commission, on the launch of the Country Report.
“Romania was parked in the category of the states with imbalances although only one indicator in the scoreboard related to the analysis exceeds the specific reference criterion, namely the GDP percentage of the net international investment position. Since 2012, the value of this indicator has improved by 19.7pct, up to 47.7pct of GDP in 2017. It is a more than favourable evolution, yet the Commission has chosen to place Romania in the category of the states with imbalances, even if the thresholds associated with this indicator are currently exceeded by 13 EU Member States,” the minister said.
According to Teodorovici, out of the 15 countries that are not facing imbalances, none is observing the ceilings specific to all of the indicators in the scoreboard. He added that the officials at the helm of the European Commission are concerned with the citizens’ welfare only at a declarative level.
“Speaking of equality at European level, I try to recall or read in fact on my papers what the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was saying in his speech on the state of the country in 2017: ‘I will not accept that food of lower quality be sold in certain parts of Europe than in other countries, although the packaging and branding are identical. We must offer the national authorities increased competencies in order to eliminate any illegal practices.’ What is the outcome today? It is the end of the current EC mandate and these competencies have not been granted. So, in terms of double standard, we are witnessing some positive statements, unaccompanied by regulations, though. The EU only seems concerned with the issue of the food’s double standard,” the Finance minister asserted.
Teodorovici highlighted that European Commissioner Corina Cretu, attending the event, is running for the European Parliament which in his opinion, does not make her a representative dialogue partner at EU level.
He recommended that the European officials never use in their reports misleading articles from the national media which in his opinion, are totally incorrect and irresponsible.
Upon leaving, the minister was asked by the journalists what is it with this anti-European message.
“My message is not anti-European, I’m a pro-European person, this is me my entire life, I was also involved in the negotiation concerning Romania’s accession to the EU and in attracting EU funds, and not only. Am I criticising? I’ll criticise anyone who has an unfair approach with regard to Romania, if this is an anti-European message, then so be it. If one calls a spade a spade that doesn’t mean he-she is anti-European. All the small countries should be treated in the same way as the other countries,” Teodorovici stressed.