Romanian government to come up with money for POSDRU beneficiaries

Newsroom 25/09/2012 | 14:20

Romania can still avoid the suspension of the Sectoral Operational Program Human Resources Development (POSDRU) this year and the necessary steps will be taken in order for local authorities to be able to resume reimbursement requests to the European Commission (EC) starting December, said Ludovic Orban, the minister of European affaires following the General Affairs Council in Brussels.

EC has officially cut POSDRU payments earlier this year following fraud suspicions and other irregularities and the program is presently in a pre-suspension phase. In order to be able to make internal payments to POSDRU beneficiaries, the government plans to temporarily allocate money for this program.

“A certain amount of money was allocated to unblock POSDRU which is very welcome given that an increasing number of beneficiaries were reporting delays and debts and some of them are facing extremely delicate situations,” said Orban.

In addition to POSDRU, Romania faces financial corrections for four other EU-funded programs – transport, environment, competitiveness and regional – following irregularities. The actual financial correction is confidential but according to Orban the money will not be lost. He explainedRomania is negotiated to have these funds allocated to other problem-free programs.

He added Romania still waits for the EC’s conclusions on audit carried out this June for the four programs. In his opinion there isn’t a suspension risk for all the four operational programs and the EC’s decision will be differentiated. “More probably, if this is how things will evolve, it will go from program to program and, if even this will not work, from priority axis top priority axis,” he said.

While over 70 percent of the EU funding available forRomaniafor 2007-2013 has been contracted, which makes for a “satisfactory, if not good, percentage”, the actual absorption rate was approximately 10 percent this July, said Orban at that time.

This year the authorities have set the target to increase the absorption rate to a minimum of 20 percent from the existing 10 percent.

Simona Bazavan

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