Romania is among top spenders on transport in the EU, but has the poorest infrastructure

Sorin Melenciuc 04/09/2018 | 12:07

Romania is the fifth largest spender on transport among the 28 European Union member states, but with poor results, being seen as the country with the poorest infrastructure in the EU, Eurostat data show.

In 2016, Romania’s government spent 3.1 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) on transport, the fifth highest percentage in the EU, after Luxembourg (3.7 percent), Hungary (3.5 percent), the Czech Republic (3.5 percent), and Slovakia (3.4 percent), according to Eurostat.

The lowest percentage of government expenditure on transport in 2016 was in Cyprus (0.6 percent), Ireland (1.1 percent) and Malta (1.2 percent).

In the EU, average government expenditure on transport amounted to 1.9 percent of GDP in 2016, below the 2 percent figure for 2015.

Government expenditure on transport includes expenditure on administration, regulation, construction and maintenance of the transport infrastructure (including road, water, railway and air transport as well as any infrastructure for the transport of goods such as pipelines), Eurostat says.

It also includes the operation of public transport corporations classified with the general government sector and any subsidies or investment grants to market producers to operate public transport.

Poor results

According to a recent Euler Hermes study, Romania needs to invest more than EUR 70 billion in order to expand and upgrade its infrastructure until 2030, but it has only around half of the amount.

The study uses data from Romania’s transport masterplan realized by the Ministry of Transport, which shows that the country dispose of EUR 36 billion to invest in its poor-quality infrastructure network until 2030.

“Infrastructure remains a major bottleneck for the development of the sector and broadly for the national economy,” the study says.

Romania is the 7th largest EU member state in terms of population, but it has only around 770 kilometers of motorways, less than Bulgaria, which is about half the size of Romania.

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