Romania badly needs investments in transports, on Friday said the European Commissioner for Regional Development, Corina Cretu, adding that situation in this field is worrying.
“Situation in transports is worrying, the like it used to be in the past. Unfortunately, only 300 kilometers were achieved in the past 10 years through the Ten-T European transport network. More than 900 national roads were revamped and here becomes noticeable the difference between the local administrative capacity – where the town halls get involved – and the fact that many Transport ministers have changed, which did but harm to this implementation as regards the motorways. We have this ex-ante conditionality linked to the transports that is not yet achieved. The first step is done, that of adopting the transport masterplan, but the second conditionality, the one linked to the performance indicators of the CNAIR, regarding the road company, this is what I’ll talk about with (Transport, ed. n.) Minister Cuc,” Corina Cretu told a news conference at the Bucharest City Hall seat.
Cretu said that transports are a field in which “Romania needs investments badly”, both national, but mostly European. Corina Cretu mentioned that one of the topics she wishes to address when meeting with the Transport Minister Razvan Cuc is referring to the 6th Underground line, the one that should connect Bucharest to Henri Coanda – Otopeni International Airport, “very important, in particular from the 2020 Football Championship’s perspective.”
Corina Cretu also highlighted that in the past three years since she was nominated for European Commissioner she worked with four governments in Bucharest and specified that she wishes to help the Romanian authorities in their efforts to capitalise the European funds.
Bucharest to benefit from special expert in DG Regio Unit Romania
Bucharest will have a special expert in the Unit Romania of DG Regio (Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy – ed.n), European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu and Mayor of Bucharest Gabriela Firea announced on Friday during a joint press conference.
Corina Cretu stressed the importance of a better coordination between the City Hall, the district mayoralties, the ministries and the managing authorities, so that the projects with European funding can be submitted in due time and the European Commission analyse them as soon as possible and the works get started.
“From our point of view, it is clear that these are complex, large projects that need assistance – external as well – in order to be drawn up, which is why we have decided that for Bucharest too, we would have a special expert in the DG Regio Unit Romania. There are projects that Romania has not implemented before. I am a strong supporter of this concept of exchange of best practices, and the administrative capacity is far more important in my opinion than money itself,” the Commissioner said.
Gabriela Firea recalled that when taking over the mandate of general mayor she identified a series of projects with European funds that were blocked. She organized working groups, which led to the completion of the following: Piata Sudului Underpass, Triumphal Arch and the Astronomical Observatory rehabilitation works.
“We currently have several projects also financed through European funds: at the Glina sewage treatment plant, a project blocked for four years. The Capital’s City Hall experts, with whom I have held consultations and who work every day at this project, have finally managed to restore it, put it back on track,” the mayor stated.
Gabriela Firea also said that the rehabilitation of the district heating network, which would benefit from 187 million euro from European funds, has also been a blocked project.
As far as the mobility projects are concerned, Gabriela Firea stressed that these are up to 300 million euro, of which 209 million euro are eligible from European funds and 91 million euro come from co-financing on behalf of the municipality. In this regard, the mayor mentioned the following: the purchase of 100 trams, 100 trolleybuses and 100 hybrid and electric buses; the rehabilitation of tramways; bicycle lanes (worth 25 million euro, the construction of four park and ride parking lots).