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Romanian minister of European Funds embarks on row with EC over risk to lose EU money

After the Senate passed the draft law on the Administrative Code last week and the European Commission warned Romania over risk to lose hundreds of millions of euro representing European funds over the new code’s controversial provisions, Minister of European Funds Rovana Plumb has issued a harsh retort against the commission.

Plumb invited the European Commission to be cautious on statements regarding the risk that Romania is taking by adopting the Administrative Code. She also said that Romania has observed and will keep on observing its commitments and that no conclusions should be drawn until the draft law is adopted by both chambers of the Parliament.

Last week, the Senate (Romanian Parliament’s upper chamber) has passed by 85 votes to 21 and 11 abstentions the bill to draft the Administrative Code, which says, among others, that mayors, deputy mayors, chairmen and deputy chairmen of the county councils, which had been elected after 1992, to benefit of a special pension within the limit of three mandates. Another provision also allows mayors and councilmen to be self-employed persons and to be able to manage an individual enterprise or to run a family business.

In retort, the European Commission warned that amendments to the Administrative Code operated in Parliament are jeopardizing the efforts of professionalising the public administration staff and are undoing the previous steps taken in this regard.

Furthermore, in a response to G4Media.ro, the EC added that the failure in fulfilling the obligations taken by Romania (ex-ante) is a ground for suspending the European fund payments. Practically, Romania would risk losing the financial allotment for 2014-202, meaning EUR 553.19 million.

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