Journalistic investigation claims USR Head Dan Barna oversaw EU fund frauds

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The journalists from Rise Project have published a wide investigation report about USR chairman Dan Barna’s EU funds-related businesses before he entered politics.

“The USR Head, the party that initiated #No criminals in public offices campaign, has supervised frauds and conflicts of interest with EU funds“,  Rise Project reports.

The article says that social projects funded by European money managed by Dan Barna’s former company had followed the same Romanian pattern, of draining EU funds to companies and friends of Barna within projects that had no visible results.

According to Rise Project, the company founded by Dan Barna and his partner Dragos Jaliu, the Consultancy Group for Development, was partner or direct beneficiary of 20 EU funded projects totaling RON 166 million.

As subcontractor, during 2008 and 2015, this company provided courses, consultancy, advertising and protocol services worth RON 3,3 million for several state institutions, including Sibiu City Hall led then by the current president Klaus Iohannis, Interior ministry led by Dan Nica, the Regional Development Ministry led by Elena Udrea, the National Authority of Customs, Agriculture ministry and several county councils. Most of the contracts have been allegedly obtained by invitation to tender or direct acquisition.

Dan Barna withdrew from the company in 2016 and was appointed secretary of state within the Ministry of EU Funds in the technocrat Cabinet.

The article claims that the Group of Consultancy for Development earned millions of RON in the name of some social projects involving disabled people or coming from disadvantaged communities, but which did not reach their goals, of actually helping these people.

In retort, Dan Barna replied that he has nothing to hide, that all his businesses were legal and that “it is natural to have this kind of attacks int he electoral campaign”, as he is running for Presidency.

“It’s like we’d be upset that Hagi did not score a goal in any match. Things are clear, I was open, I have nothing to hide”, the USR leader said.

I saw that the journalists had picked up only those projects where the social economy structures had failed after the sustainability period.  It is an inherent risk assumed in such cases, especially in a pioneering stage. So, this is just the journalists’ stance. I can say I had been transparent,” Barna said, adding that all projects carried out by his former company had been monitored, checked and fully reimbursed by the Romanian and European management authorities.

The perspective of the article is significantly is taken out of context and the focus is put only on some of the discontent beneficiaries of those projects, while stances of tens of other beneficiaries are ignored. So, the information ignores the wide general context and is stressing the start of those EU funded projects when there were not the best premises to ensure sustainability”, Barna further explained.

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