Romania will receive a total of 31.5 billion euros from the cohesion policy in the period 2021-2027, as part of its partnership agreement with the Commission to promote the economic, social and territorial cohesion of its regions, as well as its green and digital transition, informs a press release of the Community Executive published on Monday.
Thus, 4.33 billion euros will be granted from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support Romania’s innovative and smart economic transformation. The funds will contribute to increasing the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and will support research and innovation, in particular through collaboration between enterprises and universities. Innovative enterprises and innovative activities within traditional SMEs will also be supported. In addition, the EU will invest in the digitization of businesses and in the development of innovative digital public services, but also in improving the digital skills of the population, especially students and teachers.
Also, investments worth 6.75 billion euros from the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund will be made in the green transition, especially in sectors such as green energy, reducing carbon emissions, environmental infrastructure, biodiversity conservation, creating green spaces , risk management and sustainable urban mobility measures. Of these, 2.3 billion euros will be allocated for improving the energy performance of residential and public buildings and for the development of renewable energy sources and intelligent energy systems. Thus, energy consumption and carbon emissions will be reduced and the decarbonization of the energy sector will be supported.
Another 2.34 billion euros will support the water and wastewater sector, as well as improving the circular economy, with an emphasis on waste, reuse and recycling.
An amount of 2.14 billion euros from the Just Transition Fund (FTJ) will be intended to mitigate the social and economic impact of the green transition to a climate-neutral economy. This fund will be directed to the Romanian regions most affected by the gradual elimination of coal and lignite and will focus on the transformation of energy-intensive industries. To modernize the health system, investments worth 2.3 billion euros will be made to ensure citizens’ access to health and to improve the quality, efficiency and resilience of the medical sector. Also, the funds will target vulnerable groups, contributing to the reduction of inequalities.
For employment, skills and combating poverty, 7.3 billion euros will be allocated from the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) to improve access to the labor market, with a special focus on reducing the unemployment rate among young people, on quality education and favorable to inclusion, the development of new skills and training. FSE+ will contribute to the modernization of the Public Employment Service in Romania and will promote social inclusion, accessibility and effectiveness of public services.
3.3 billion euros will be allocated to combat child poverty and material deprivation. The funds will improve access to social services and their quality and will develop integrated social, educational and medical services in 2,000 rural communities. For sustainable fishing, the European Fund for Maritime Affairs, Fisheries and Aquaculture (FEAMPA) will invest 162.5 million euros in sustainable fishing and aquaculture, in the conservation of aquatic biological resources in the Black Sea and in the application of fisheries control activities. The fund will also support a sustainable aquaculture and processing sector, diversifying local fishing and aquaculture communities and contributing to the long-awaited modernization of the Black Sea fishing infrastructure.
“The investments made within the cohesion policy will address areas of major interest for Romanians. An effective planning and implementation of the programs currently being finalized will facilitate the development of innovation and digitalization, the implementation of quality medical and social services, as well as ensuring education and training opportunities and safe and clean transport, contributing, in general, to the creation of a more competitive economy. Cohesion policy funding will improve the quality of life in Romania and ensure that no one is left behind,” he said Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira.