It may be difficult for Romania to absorb EU funds
Marius Nica, Romanian Minister of European Funds declared recently(1) that the country's EU fund absorption rate was estimated at around 65 percent and that by the end of the year it would probably reach 70 percent.

After giving a brief description of absorption percentages reached by different structural funds he observed that Romania has gained approval for all of its 2014-2020 programs and noted that necessary information was being gathered with respect to the Operational Program Designed for People with Disabilities. Nica then gave details about the food distribution program which is now in its incipient stages, as the SEAP auction currently underway is expected to be finalized by the end of December 2015.

It seems that the reimbursed sums of money amount to around 52,74 percent out of the total allotted quantity. As such, for the Regional Operational Program the absorption rate was 62,99 percent in September, for the Medium Sectorial Operational Program the rate was 52,25, for Transports it was 55,45, for Growing Economic Competition 73,07, for Developing Human Resources 68,87, for Developing Administrative Capacity 82,25, and, for Technical Assistance it was 62,99 percent.

The European Funds Minister was also recently(2) on a visit to Suceava, where he congratulated the county for its efficient investment management thanks to which “it finalized all investments in the water sector and closed all garbage dumps which were not in compliance with relevant regulations”. He added that starting January of 2016, the authorities will have 251 million EUR at their disposal for investments. This would come out of the EU's Big Infrastructure Operational Program.

Notwithstanding, the Minister also made a clear case for a “painful” 2014-2020 term with regards to the amount of money the country needs to absorb through EU funds. (3)

He stated that, seeing as how in the last period dedicated to such endeavors the amount of financial funding that Romania managed to obtain was around 12, 8 billion EUR out of the total of 19 billion available to it, this next phase will be a difficult one. He went on to emphasize the need to lessen the bureaucracy employed to reach these funds and make the overall process simpler. In this respect Minister Nica stressed that he is currently discussing such necessary changes with the Ministry of Finance and has brought into discussion the modification of Government Decision(HG) 28/2008. It seems that by the end of the year this Decision's compulsoriness might be rendered void, which would very much help the process of accessing EU financing.

Finally, Nica emphasized the fact that the Ministry of European Funds is working towards getting a continuation of funding for infrastructure projects, which Romania so evidently needs.





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