EUR 19.2 bln document for structural funds signed in Bucharest

Publish date: 13-07-2007
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BUCHAREST - Premier Calin Popescu Tariceanu and European Commissioner responsible for Regional Policy Danuta Hubner Thursday signed, at the Government head office, the 2007-2013 National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), a document under which the European Commission will allot EUR 19.21 bln to Romania in structural and cohesion funds.

The EU Commissioner Danuta Hubner pointed out that the first payments would be made in the ensuing days, as Romania is one of the EU Member States which have managed to complete negotiations on most Operational Programmes, and talks on the last two Programmes are to be concluded by September.

"All stakeholders are nonetheless aware that the actual challenge is the implementation of projects, and that for this to be a success it takes significant efforts.

The European Commission expects good cooperation with the Government of Romania for a proper management and control of EU funds, so as to prevent irregularities in the spending of the Community budget," Hubner stated.

She added that Romanian local and regional authorities will play a major part in the implementation of projects.

The same idea was reiterated by PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu, who pointed out that local authorities need to be prepared for the EU fund absorption, and mentioned that EC experts will check the spending of these amounts.

"I request all ministers who coordinate European fund management authorities to pay special attention to the management of these funds," Tariceanu said.

He added that the funds allotted by the European Union will ensure predictability in the preparation of multi-annual budget drafts, to reduce economic gaps between Romania and other EU Member States as well as between the various regions in Romania.

"We are now to draw up high quality projects so as to be able to spend this money, with special attention paid on the proper management of these funds," Tariceanu cautioned.NSRF, a strategic document which lays down the intervention priorities for the Structural and Cohesion Funds, was approved by the European Commission on June 25. It is on the basis of this framework document that the five Operational Programmes will also be approved.

Out of the total amount, EUR 19.21 bln are earmarked for the objective "Convergence" and EUR 0.46 bln for "European territorial cooperation." The national co-funding for the "Convergence" objective is estimated at approx. EUR 5.53 bln, covered from both public sources (77 per cent of the co-financing value) and private sources (23 per cent).

The general goal of the NSRF is to reduce gaps between the economic and social development of Romania and EU Member States, by generating an additional 15-20 per cent of GDP growth by 2015. NSRF ties national development priorities, as defined in the 2007-2013 National Development Plan, and the European priorities - Cohesion 2007-2013 - Community Strategic Guidelines and the revised Lisbon Strategy.

Romania is the 15th of the 27 EU Member States to finalise negotiations on this national strategic document.

European commission has approved the regional operational program

The European Commission has adopted on Wednesday July 11, 2007 the Regional Operational Program (ROP), drawn up by the Ministry of Development Public Works and Housing. The program will be launched on Friday July 13 in Sibiu, in the presence of the European Commissioner for Regional Development, Ms. Danuta Hubner, of Mr. Laszlo Borbely, Minister of Development Public Works and Housing and that of local authority representatives.

Through ROP a financing of EUR 3.72 billion is allocated from structural funds, to which is added Romania’s contribution of EUR 880 M. The value of the funds represents 19 per cent of the total funds allocated to Romania for the 2007-2013 programmed period. The funds will be allocated on the basis of regional criteria, dependent on the regions’ development level and in a tight coordination with the actions taken as part of other operational programs, so that an even development is insured to all the country’s regions.

"The romanian economy has a huge potential"

The Romanian economy has a huge potential and there is not any reason for Romania to be a mediocre member of the European Union, declared on Thursday, in Bucharest, the European Commissioner for regional policy, Danuta Hubner, at the conference "Structural and cohesion funds for Romania," organized at Marriott Hotel.

CSNR is a great opportunity for the acceleration of the process of development of the Romanian economy. On the same occasion, the European Commissioner for regional policy mentioned that the general purpose of the regional policy is to reduce the disparities between the 268 regions from EU, estimating that, in the case of Romania which attracts six per cent of the structural and cohesion funds from the community budget, the support of the European Commission will help to increase the competitiveness of the Romanian economy.

The European Commissioner for regional policy will participate on Friday, at Sibiu, at the launching of the Regional Operational Programme. Danuta Hubner had a meeting with President Traian Basescu, and discussions with several ministers and with the mayors of Bucharest, Adriean Videanu, and Sibiu, Johannis Klaus.

Danuta Hubner at Cotroceni Palace

President Traian Basescu met on Thursday, at Cotroceni Palace, with the European Commissioner for regional policy, Danuta Hubner.

"The discussions allowed a review of the institutional framework and of the documents regarding the scheduling of the utilization of these funds, and of the methods through which it is possible to assure a bigger coherence between the national priorities and the community ones in terms of regional policy," reads Presidency press release.

Traian Basescu estimated that the management of the community funds with a high rate of absorption is a priority of the Romanian state institutions, showing that the objective pursued by Romania is both to reduce the development gap in comparison with the community average, and the filling up of the gap between its own regions.

President stated also the need to decentralize the responsibility for the utilization of the community funds, as a method of rendering efficient their absorption.

In her turn, the Commissioner Danuta Hubner encouraged the enforcement of a system of maximum transparency for the utilization of the community funds.

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