The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide a EUR 2.2 million technical assistance to support Romania in further developing and consolidating the water and waste water services in the country over a period of two years, according to an agreement signed by Matteo Patrone, EBRD Regional Director for Romania and Bulgaria, and Marius Nica, Delegated Minister for European Funds at Romania’s Ministry of Regional Development, in Bucharest today.
According to a press release, the assignment will focus on sustainability of the regional water utilities, as beneficiaries of large EU grant amounts.
“We are very pleased to join forces with Romania and the EU in this important sector. We will offer our expertise to ensure that EU structural funds are used in an effective and efficient way, so that they can deliver better and sustainable water services. The EBRD will further support the water sector reforms, with the objective to improve governance and sustainability of the water services, with focus on sector consolidation and long term asset management strategies,” Patrone said.
The signing follows an agreement concluded in February 2016 about the provision of technical assistance for projects and programmes funded through EU Structural Instruments under the 2014-2020 programming period. Under this agreement, the water sector has been identified as one of the strategic priorities.
The cooperation with EBRD offers us the possibility to act with the aim of supporting the strategic development of the water and waste water sector, and ensure the sustainability of investments made from European funds in this area,” Mnister Nica also stated.
When Romania joined the EU in 2007, its water sector was fragmented with hundreds of small and inefficient water utilities across the country. Granted several transition periods to reach EU standards for water and wastewater infrastructure and services, the country began an ample process of consolidating and regionalising its utilities to turn them into more efficient autonomous public enterprises acting under commercial law.
The EU 2014-2020 programmes include further EUR 3.5 billion of grant support for Romania’s water sector.