The Romanian Ministry for European Funds announced the labor financing scheme for young people has been functional in Romania since January 1, 2014.
“The financing program for creating jobs for young people has been functional in Romania starting January 1, 2014. The measures are currently financed from the social insurances and state budget, and the spent sums will be reimbursed by the European Commission after the approval of the Operational Programme Human Capital 2014-2020. So, there is no delay in the implementation of this scheme in Romania,” according to a press release from the ministry sent to Mediafax newswire to answer several of president Traian Basescu’s statements on the matter.
The Ministry of European Funds said other EU member states also chose to finance from their own budget the measures related to the Labor Initiative for Young People. Later, they will be reimbursed from the European Social Fund since they still do not have the operational programs approved by the European Commission.
The scheme is financed via the Operational Programme Human Capital 2014-2020 and the sums available under this program are EUR 212 million under the Priority Axis 1 and EUR 362 million under Priority Axis 2.
On Priority Axis 1, EUR 106 million are part of the Youth Employment Initiative for three regions in which the unemployment rate in 2012 among young people between 16 and 24 was higher than 25 percent. These are the center of the country, the South East and the South of Muntenia.
The financial allocation corresponds to 2014-2015, but to this, Romania has added another approximately EUR 106 million from European funds, via the European Social Fund, according to the Ministry of European Funds.
On Priority Axis 2, Romania has allocated approximately EUR 362 million for supporting the creation of jobs for young people in other five regions: Bucharest-Ilfov, North-East, North-West, West, South-West Oltenia, available until 2023.
“We plan that, via Priority Axis 2, we will continue to finance young people in the three regions that are financed via the Labor Initiative for Young People after 2015, in case the EU decides not to prolong it,” according to the ministry.
Romanian president Traian Basescu said that Romania was allocated European funds of more than EUR 100 million for creating jobs for young people, from which the government has so far not spent “a single penny.”
“If this money is not spent, they are reallocated to other countries. We must spend EUR 106 million for creating jobs for young people. So far zero lei has been spent. The program sent by the government to the European Commission has not even been approved, which is unacceptable,” said the president.
He said that the money is meant for the center, South-Muntenia and South-Eastern part of the country, where the unemployment among young people has surpassed the 25 percent mark.
“If I were you, I would picket the government every day because this is not money that will be available for too long, they are meant for the timeframe 2014-2015. At December 31, 2015, this money is reallocated to other countries,” said Basescu.