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EC OK’s EUR 9.5bn operational programme for large infrastructure for Romania. PM warns Bucharest could lose EUR 3.3bn

Romania has EU funding programs worth EUR 3.3 billion blocked by investigations, for the 2007-2013 period, the money that could be lost, Prime Minister Victor Ponta said on Friday, after signing the decision approving the Operational Programme for Large Infrastructure 2014-2020.
“It’s the first time I am telling you, but I asked the minister, I asked all institutions – we have programs for 2007-2013 of EUR 3.3 billion that are blocked after various investigations and we might lose the funds if we fail to have the outcome of these inquiries by December. Let us learn from this painful experience in the 2007-2013 and let’s have no inquiries to block the next programme,” said Ponta.
PM Victor Ponta has signed on Friday, at the Victoria Palace, together with European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu, the decision approving the Operational Programme Large Infrastructure (POIM) 2014-2020, which includes the Masterplan programme for transports.
Under this program, Romania will receive almost EUR 9.5 billion through POIM – during 2014-2020, adopted by the European Commission for investments in environmental, energy and transport projects, announced on Friday in a press release the EC Representation in Romania.
“The European Commission adopted the Operational Programme Large Infrastructure for the period 2014 – 2020. POIM is a major investment package of almost EUR 9.5 billion of EU regional funds, money that will be invested in environmental, energy and transport projects. The programme represents almost half of the EUR 23 billion allocated to Romania under the EU cohesion policy. Taking into account the co-financing from the national budget, the program is worth over EUR 11.8 billion committed to growth and job creation,” the source reads.
In connection with that decision, European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu said that this is the largest operational program for Romania and the second in Europe in size.
“The program will strengthen the economic competitiveness of Romania and will bring the cities and regions in Romania closer to the European Union. Better rail and road connections will also create new business opportunities, will reduce costs and will reduce the time for goods transport and for passengers travelling. I call on the authorities to start implementing the key infrastructure projects and the ones on natural resources, which will contribute decisively to the development of Romania,” Cretu said.
In his turn, Minister of European Funds mentioned in this context that POIM will implement the transport Masterplan and a strategy for the coming years for Romanian transport sector.
According to the Ministry of European Funds (MFE) through the 2014-2020 period POIM will ensure funding for Romania’s key development priorities in: the transport sector, in line with the General Transport Master Plan with an allocation of EUR 6.8 billion (from the EU contribution is EUR 5.1 billion), environmental sector, in order to comply with European directives and fulfil its commitments under the Accession Treaty for the water and waste sector, and to protect biodiversity and prevent flooding and coastal erosion with an allocation of EUR 4.47 billion (of which EU – 3.8 billion) and energy sector in line with the Europe 2020 targets to reduce energy consumption in industry and domestic sector and promote less used renewable resources, with an allocation of EUR 600 million (EUR 520 million the EU contribution).

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