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March 1, 2021
POLITICS

Reactions from Bucharest after the historic deal reached in Brussels by the EU leaders on a post-pandemic recovery plan

Iohannis: It is an important day to Romania, an important day to the European design

President Klaus Iohannis announced on Tuesday that Romania will receive almost 80 billion in European funding for projects such as: infrastructure, construction of hospitals, schools, modernization of large public systems, as well as for economic reconstruction.

“After very complicated discussions, after very complicated negotiations, after four days and four nights of negotiations, we obtained an impressive amount for Romania – 79.9 billion euros for European projects; these are negotiations that now allow us to move to the next stage. We will use the 80 billion euros to rebuild Romania’s infrastructure, to build hospitals, schools, to modernize the great public systems. It is also very important to know that a significant part of the money will be used for economic recovery,” Iohannis said in Brussels at the end of the special European Council meeting.

He added that the Orban Government has been working since the beginning of the year on the implementation of the plan for the 2021 – 2027 multiannual European budget. “It will be completed as soon as possible, so that we are ready to start implementation, and on the other hand, we have been working for a long time on a national recovery plan, which will be unveiled to the European Commission, in order for us to receive the funds for economic recovery. So far we have prepared well and have obtained a good result, ” Iohannis said.

He called the funding secured by Romania “a beautiful outcome.” “It is an important day to Romania, an important day to the European design, and we will go further, because this money must be used for the reconstruction of Romania,” he said, according to Agerpres.

 

PM Orban:  Romania will receive higher amounts than ever before from the European Union

 

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban on Tuesday stated, at the beginning of the Government meeting, that Romania will receive higher amounts than ever before from the European Union, of almost 80 billion euros.

“The future sounds well for Romania and for Europe. After heated negotiations, the white smoke started to rise and the European Council made the decisions that the EU citizens and Member States have waited for a long time. Thanks to the efforts made by Mr President Iohannis Romania will benefit in the upcoming years of higher amounts than ever before, of almost 80 billion euros. Once the decision has been made, we need to speed up all procedures to prepare the Partnership Agreement on the EU budget for 2021-2027. Moreover, we will have to prepare the Ministry of Agriculture – the National Strategic Plan and the Ministry of European Funds, as a coordinator, we must accelerate the drafting of the resilience and recovery plan that we will have to present in each country in order to substantiate the requests for the financing of The Next Generation EU,” said Orban.

He labelled as “historical” the agreement at the European Council and asked for involvement in the preparation of the projects and programmes to benefit from EU funds.

“It allows us to look to the future with confidence, both we, as Romanians, and the European Union as a whole. A fundamental decision that will lay the foundations for the possibility of financing all the development projects we have thought of for Romania. And we must continue to be extremely involved, extremely careful in the preparation of programs, projects, in the preparation of all necessary documents in order to ensure the most efficient and rapid absorption of these impressive resources that will serve the development program. This time, I especially appreciate the results and the remarkable ability of the President, who has achieved a remarkable result for Romania, which he announced this morning,” added Orban.

 

MEP Negrescu: European citizens and Romania lose because of European Council’s decision

 

PSD (Social Democratic Party) MEP Victor Negrescu on Tuesday stated that compared with the initial proposal the European citizens and Romania lose because of the decision made by the European Council regarding the budget, by which the amounts for rural development, research, health or digitalization were being in fact cut down, and, in his opinion, our country was basically “missing from the negotiations.”

“Compared with the initial proposal of the European Commission and the European Parliament, the European citizens and Romania lost in fact because of the decision made today by the European Council regarding the European budget. The European leaders decided on a budget that cuts down significantly the initial amounts proposed for rural development, research, healthcare or digitalization, which means less money, especially in grants, for Romania, compared with the initial formula. The recovery plan, ambitious in its making, has fewer grants today than the proposal adopted by the European Parliament. Basically, Romania was completely missing from these negotiations, it did not have a clear agenda and got less than the mathematic formulas or how much we needed, considering our country’s needs, the development gaps and the impact of the COVID-19 crisis,” Negrescu wrote on his Facebook page.

He added that the 79.9 billion euros announced by the President also include loans not only grants and that, both in terms of amounts and the conditionalities imposed to the beneficiary countries, Romania gets less than obtained initially, in objective terms, through the formulas applied by the European institutions.

“What Romania was supposed to receive, and the negotiation team did not obtain that, was an amount of minimum 50 billions euros in grants from the future European budget (without the recovery plan), and from the 33 billion meant for the recovery plan, minimum 25 billion were supposed to be grants for the recovery plan (now we have several loans), this increase in the amount being calculated according to the new wave of infections with COVID in Romania, the N+3 rule applied to the recovery plan, less conditionalities to use the money easier and in the areas of interest, with no other Member State or unclear mechanism to exist in the allocation/blocking of the European money so that we will be sure to not face the Schengen situation all over again, the allocation of national envelopes for the programmes managed by the European Commission, a substantial European budget for healthcare to help Romania, a higher budget for rural development, given the fact that this was a successful programme in Romania and the need is still high, without own resources to cost Romania too much,” explained the PSD MEP.

 

PLUS’s Ciolos: This is first time when EU heads of state, Gov’t accepted European public debt

 

PLUS (Liberty, Unity, Solidarity Party) leader Dacian Ciolos on Tuesday stated, after the agreement concluded in Brussels, that this is for the first time in the history of the European Union when the heads of state and government accepted a European public debt.

“This is a decision, I would dare to say, almost historical, because in such a short while we already have an agreement from the heads of state and government and I am sure that the discussions will go pretty fast in the European Parliament as well,” Ciolos told RFI, with respect to the agreement in Brussels regarding the economic recovery plan in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He added that the amount stipulated for Romania was “substantial.”

“There are positive things and negative ones compared with the initial proposal made by the European Commission and backed also by Parliament. The positives are that we do have an agreement and we have it after only a couple of months since this crisis started and not after years as it happened in the case of the financial and economic crisis of 2008-2009, in which case the EU only managed to take some measures in 2011-2012. That’s why we can say that this time things moved quite fast and this is a positive thing. Then, this is the first time in the history of the EU when heads of state and government, upon the request of Parliament and upon the insistence of the European Parliament, accepted a European public debt. So, basically, through this recovery programme of the EU we will borrow money from the capital market to finance the economies of the Member States to recover, but this debt, most of it, will no longer be considered with the public debt of the Member states, but it will be a common European public debt, which the states will reimburse together,” explained the PLUS leader.

Ciolos also said that there will be a mechanism of the rule of law that will be related to the manner in which this money is going to be spent.

“We will get sure in the European Parliament that this mechanism will be strengthened. The Member States, which benefit from European funds but do not observe justice, do not observe the rule of law, do not strengthen the fight against corruption, they will be affected, meaning that the EU will block the money in the case of the respective governments until they prove such key institutions in democracy really function,” showed the MEP.

The PLUS leader highlighted the fact that Romania “has a substantial amount, of more than 79 billion euros in grants, plus the possibility of getting loans for the next five-seven years.”

“An important part of this amount will be invested in the next three years and we will need to have a high absorption capacity, we need to prepare for it. Unfortunately, I don’t think that what the Government has prepared until now is sufficient. We will have to work together in the next weeks, months until the end of the year, before the parliamentary elections that we will have at home, and the Romanian Government will have to propose to the European Commission a recovery plan, which will address our capacity of absorption of these significant funds. And we have to work together for this to happen, together with the business milieu, the government, to get sure that Romania doesn’t miss this unique chance in history. For we don’t just need projects here and there, we need a vision, this time, to use this money,” concluded Dacian Ciolos.

 

PMP’s Tomac hails EU historic deal as proof that Europe stays united

 

Europe has shown that it stays united and capable of overcoming any crisis, Chairman of the People’s Movement Party (PMP) Eugen Tomac said after the EU leaders approved on Tuesday morning a groundbreaking budget and coronavirus recovery package.

“A turning point for Europe. EU member states have reached a historic agreement on the recovery package and the European budget. There have been tough negotiations, major disagreements, but after the Union’s longest summer summit, 1.824 billion will be directed to the aid of the states that were hit hard by this pandemic. The package includes a € 750 billion recovery fund in the form of loans and grants, and  1,074 billion – the multiannual financial framework for the next 7 years. Of this amount, Romania gets 79.9 billion, and I hope we fully put this money to good use. Cooperation in such difficult times is essential, and Europe has shown that it remains united and is able to overcome any crisis,” Tomac wrote on Facebook.

Compiled from Agerpres

 

 

 

 

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