President Klaus Iohannis on Monday convened a working meeting in Bucharest on the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) with Prime Minister Florin Cîţu, Chamber of Deputies President Ludovic Orban, Deputy Prime Ministers Dan Barna and Kelemen Hunor and the Minister of Investments and European Projects, Cristian Ghinea, the Presidential Administration has announced.
Last week, the head of state announced that he had convened this meeting with government officials working on the Plan. The government is due to make some changes to the plan, before officially presenting it to the European Commission, after the EU executive said that the amounts provided for infrastructure were too high and that it would not agree with the financing of irrigation systems. The head of state believes that the document can be improved and accepted by the European Commission. The document should be submitted to the EC by the end of April, for Romania to benefit from over 30 billion Euros for development. President Iohannis has specified that the deadline set for the completion of the plan is indicative, not final. According to the opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD), the rejection of the document is a failure of the current government. The party’s president, Marcel Ciolacu, insists that the National Recovery and Resilience Plan be debated transparently in Parliament, Radio Romania International informs.
“I convened a meeting on Monday with government officials and from other areas working on the PNRR. We will assess the Commission’s first feedback. We will improve the Plan. The Ministry will present itself to the Commission an improved Plan and, finally, I am convinced that it will be accepted and we will be able to use this money. It is a very large amount: 30 billion euros. We have the chance to implement reforms that have been postponed and we have the chance to make investments that we haven’t been able to do until now because we lacked the money, I am very determined that, together with the government, to make this a success,” Klaus Iohannis stated last Thursday.
Iohannis also mentioned that the difficulties in outlining the plan were to be expected. “The difficulty is that deep reforms are wanted, but at the same time in a very limited period, we have only a few years to do it. Normally, the reforms are not done overnight and the important projects take more than 3-4 years. However, we will be prepared for this National Plan and we will improve it in such a way that the projects will be accepted,” Iohannis added.
He also said that not only Romania is in this situation, but everyone, given the “novelty and pressure” of the very short implementation time.
Ghinea: We have agreed to submit PNRR on May 31
Minister of European Investments and Projects Cristian Ghinea announced on Monday that Romania will submit the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) on May 31.
“In the discussion with the President [Klaus Iohannis], with Mr. Orban, with the Prime Minister [Florin Citu] and the two Deputy Prime Ministers, we agreed that tomorrow, in the meeting I will have with Vice President Vestager of the European Commission, we will follow the May 31 timeline for the PNRR,” Ghinea said in Parliament.
PM Citu: Negotiation process of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) is currently underway
Prime Minister Florin Citu declared on Monday that a negotiation process of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) is currently underway, and Minister of Investments and European Projects Cristian Ghinea “couldn’t have done anything wrong”.
“At the moment, and it must be clear to everyone – we are in the process of negotiating this plan. We have some priorities in Romania that the coalition supports, but it is clear that these priorities must be set in this system that the European Commission has the money of giving this money. We are in a period of negotiations, you know that only one country has submitted this program so far, I don’t see any problem at the moment. (…) There have been online negotiations and the relevant ministers were alongside Minister Ghinea,” said Florin Citu in Parliament, where he participated in a meeting of the governing coalition.
Asked if Minister Ghinea was wrong, he said: “He couldn’t have done anything wrong.”
“At the moment we are negotiating, you know very well the structure, there is a mandate for the ministry to negotiate this form of the PNRR (…), and the coordination of the negotiation – I am the one who coordinates, is done under my supervision. This project has over-contracting, it was a decision of the coalition to go for a larger amount and now we are negotiating. (…) We do not have a final form yet. (…) We will prioritize depending on how these [financing – ed.n.] sources come and we will do all the projects in the government program,” the prime minister explained.
He mentioned that all the ministries were involved in this process and the governing coalition will continue to be involved, namely both deputy prime ministers.
Deputy PM Hunor: Romania has not exceeded any deadline, PNRR has not been rejected
Romania has not exceeded any deadline, the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) has not been rejected, Deputy Prime Minister Kelemen Hunor, leader of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR), said on Monday.
He added that coalition leaders continue to discuss the best solutions for each component.
“Let’s see what those mature projects are with which we can go before the Commission in the discussions that Minister Ghinea will have in the coming weeks. And somewhere on May 30-31 this document must be ready, as recommended by the Commission not only to Romania, to all the member states, when saying that April 30 is an indicative date. (…) What I discussed [with President Iohannis – ed.n.] was an absolutely open, correct discussion, without any resentment, because here nobody, neither Guinea, nor anyone else had any other opportunity to discuss than what it has been received from line ministries, and Romania has not exceeded any deadline, the plan has not been rejected and there is currently no delay in our relationship with the Commission. So there is no reproach and no resentment within the coalition over the talks so far,” the deputy prime minister told Parliament at the end of a governing coalition meeting.
According to him, very well-described, mature projects must be brought, “because Minister Ghinea cannot go unarmed to the Commission, either.”
“He receives ammunition from ministers. (…) Romania is not late and there is no problem in this respect. (…) All financial possibilities must be used and there is no delay. The Commission itself suggested to the Member States to continue the discussion and the preparations with national plans and there is time until May 31. So we’re not late. We’ll be late after May 31. Ratifications haven’t been made in most Member States either, it’s a very long process until we can say we’re being late (…) In the coalition, we have put everything on a normal path and we will continue the talks in the coming days,” Kelemen Hunor said.
Compiled from Agerpres