European commissioner Corina Cretu: Romania to lose EUR 1 bln on transport

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While attending a conference in Romania on Monday, the European commissioner for regional policy, Corin Cretu, has stated that Romania would lose EUR 1 billion on transport for the period 2007-2013, a sum that could be used to build about 100-200 km of highway.

Unfortunately, the transport field has been our weakness in the past 10 years. Romania has the lowest percentage of absorption on transport. We received only 77 per cent of the invoices for the sum allotted for transport projects. Unfortunately, we’ll have losses of EUR 1 billion on transports for 2007-2013 budgetary execution period,” Cretu said.

She announced that for 2014-2020 she had discussed with Transport minister Razvan Cuc about the most advanced project, the Sibiu-Pitesti highway, but she also mentioned that other priority projects should be the Bucharest ring road, the subway to Otopeni Airport and the Ploiesti-Bacau road.

The EU commissioner for regional policy pointed out that Romania had overall EU funds of EUR 19 billion for the period 2007-2014.

Our forecast is that the absorption rate should mount to 90-91 per cent, meaning that EUR 17 bln entered Romania’s real economy,” she said.

We still get thousands of signed pages from Romania

Attending the second edition of the campaign “The success is….Contagious!”, Corina Cretu also criticized that Romania is the only EU member state that is still sending projects with thousands of signed pages, although Brussels is encouraging the electronic projects.

The EC doesn’t use to change rules along the way. Generally it is the national state that adds a lot of red tape (…) Romania is the only EU member state that is still sending projects with thousands of signed pages. There are projects of 6,000 pages and the national authorities’ request is to sign and stamp them all. On the contrary, we try to simplify procedures. We encourage the e-Cohesion, meaning the electronic documents, as we encourage the simplified cost,” the EC commissioner said.

She also voiced her disappointment that youngsters drop out accessing EU funds due to the complicated procedures of the projects.

I am very disappointed when I see young people dropping out to access EU funds precisely because they think that procedures are far too complicated, much too bureaucratic. I want to assure you that in most of the cases, the procedures are not coming from Brussels. I understand that the European money must be very well controlled, we have zero tolerance for embezzlement. On the other hand, I don’t think we should start with total mistrust or suspicion for embezzlement. Our statistics show that there is 4 per cent errors with only 0.5 per cent embezzlement in this Cohesion Policy. Besides, these errors are human errors not necessarily come from the desire to embezzle funds. I assure you that the European funds are controlled the best,” Cretu concluded.

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