European Commissioner for Regional Development, Corina Cretu, has announced she will discuss with the Romanian government about the absorption of European funds for the 2014-2020 period, adding that there are concerns in this regard.
“The concerns surfaced from the beginning of 2014-2020 financial year. We are now in March 2017, and there is 0% of European funds absorption for the EUR 23 billion available for Romania,” the European Commissioner said on Wednesday, at the end of the meeting with the joint committees for European Affairs of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.
“We are mainly concerned about the management and control institutions that should be soon accredited, as the only way Romania can issue invoices and the EC can pay them. I want to know why the rate of contracting is so slow, other states have contracted 80% of the amount available. In Romania the contracted amount is of 5%. For me, most important are the rate of contracting and the payments to beneficiaries. These will be the main topics of discussion with the government,” Corina Cretu said.
Commissioner Cretu added that the Romanian authorities are being supported by EC experts in order to improve the administrative capacity and to recovery of delays.
EU funds absorption rate in Romania will exceed 90pct on 2007-2013 period
Corina Cretu also said the absorption rate for the funds allotted for the 2007-2013 period will exceed 90% and that invoices corresponding to this period are still received until the end of this month.
“I have made all possible efforts to increase the absorption rate. When I became a European commissioner, Romania had 60% absorption rate. Romania has no longer lost any EUR on the period 2015-2016 from the allotments it had. I want to inform you that until March 31 we still receive invoices for the 2007-2013 programming period, after which the Commission has at its disposal five months to analyse them. Indeed, our estimations reveal that the absorption rate will exceed 90%. The losses are estimated at round EUR 2 billion, coming mainly from the period 2007-2011, when the financial programme began with delays. We have made all efforts to stage the projects that couldn’t be completed,” Corina Cretu said.