Romania comes last in CEE on EU funds absorption, says KPMG

Newsroom 14/05/2013 | 12:39

Romania registered the lowest absorption of EU funds at the end of 2012, according to a study carried out by the professional services firm KPMG in ten EU members that are based in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region.

The report states that Romania has contracted grants worth EUR 16.3 billion through to 2012, reaching a contracting ratio of 70 percent, which is line with the EU average. However, with the payment ratio at 12 percent, only EUR 2.8 billion in grants has been paid for private companies and public institutions that developed projects.

Daniela Nemoianu (in picture), executive partner at KPMG in Romania, said: “The absorption of EU funds in Romania was strongly affected by factors such as limited administrative capacity of the institutions responsible for managing the funds, existence of financial constraints (co-financing is particularly difficult to obtain for private sector beneficiaries as well as for local authorities), and difficult procurement procedures which led to failure of the initial schedules of activities and also to delays in reimbursing the beneficiaries’ payments.”

In the 2007-2012 period, more than EUR 181 billion was available for spending in the CEE, for projects aimed at closing the gap with Western members on major aspects on the economy, ranging from infrastructure to human capital training.

In the six years of implementation of EU co-funded programs, beneficiaries signed contracts totaling close to EUR 149 billion, which was more than 80 percent of the 7-year programming period. The report shows that EUR 79.4 billion have been disbursed to beneficiaries.

Serban Toader, senior partner at KPMG in Romania, commented the recent measures taken by authorities to remove the pre-suspension in some operational programs are a good step forward.

“These measures are extremely welcome and must be further supported by a series of actions to restore and optimize implementation tactics, including outsourcing to professional companies, improving institutional capacity and coordination, and simplifying and speeding up the current procedures for public procurement,” said Toader.

KPMG has been involved in the management of EU funds on procurement, evaluation, feasibility studies and grants auditing to overall project management.

The survey includes the ten countries that joined the EU in the two accession waves of 2004 and 2007.

Ovidiu Posirca

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