A tripartite agreement was officially launched today, between the World Bank, the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG Regio) of the European Commission, and the Government of Romania, through the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration, aiming to support Romania to improve the impact of investments in urban areas and maximize its use of European Union (EU) funding.
The partnership will focus on analytical and advisory work, during the next six months, designed to support Romania in adopting a stronger focus on cross-sectoral and inter-jurisdictional approaches, and to better respond to the needs of territories that may not be defined by one clear administrative boundary. More specifically, the work will help the Government of Romania to identify: (i). areas/sectors with multi-jurisdictional impact; (ii) inter-jurisdictional cooperation models and territories for multi-sectoral project implementation; (iii) organizational models for multi-municipal territorial cooperation for attracting EU funds; and (iv) conditionalities and resources implied by proposed organizational models.
“Romania has benefitted greatly from its membership in the EU, rapidly converging to the income levels of other member states and becoming one of the fastest growing European economies in recent years” said Tatiana Proskuryakova, World Bank Country Manager for Romania and Hungary. “Cities and urban agglomerations were in large part the engine of this success. The new partnership will support greater regional cooperation and strategic multi-sector investment opportunities, positioning cities well for the next EU programming period and beyond.”
To ensure that the benefits of city development also contribute to the development of municipalities situated near Romania’s development poles, it is critical to devise and encourage inter-jurisdictional cooperation and development. Moreover, based on the lessons learnt on implementation from the previous and current programming period, it is necessary to prepare the outline of urban investment planning to be ready by 2020, and, in parallel, enable Romanian municipalities to prepare a mature pipeline of EU investments, to be ready for physical implementation starting in 2021.
The analytical work to be carried out will have direct inputs in the design of Operational Programs for the 2021-2027 Programming Period. For this exact period, the European Commission has decided that the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will have a stronger focus on sustainable urban development activities, with member states having to allocate least 6% of ERDF funds for integrated development in urban areas. Thus, EU Member Countries will be encouraged to adopt more effective governance based on partnership, multi-level governance and an integrated place-based approach in its programmes.