Corina Cretu, the commissioner for regional policy, says that Romania is among the 10 member states of the European Union that have failed to attract EU money under the current 7-year programming period that runs through to 2020.
Cretu said that in the case of Romania, she is “optimistic” as she suggested that the absorption of funds will pick up this year.
“From what I understand, all the evaluation and certification documentation for the Management Authorities have been submitted to the European Court of Auditors,” said the EU official. The authorities manage the operational programs through which the funds reach beneficiaries in Romania. The country has designated 10 such authorities, but up to now less than half have become operational.
Cretu said that Romania continues to have a lot of red tape on EU funded projects, which discourages potential beneficiares.
“Romania is the only member state that still submits projects of several thousand pages that are signed. There are projects of 6,000 pages and the requirement of national authorities is to get them signed. We, on the contrary, we are trying to simplify procedures. From our perspective, we are encouraging what is called e-Cohesion, so that the projects can be submitted in an electronic format, we encourage simplified costs,” said the commissioner. She added that she is disappointed because a lot of young people give up their plans to using EU money because they believe the procedures are too complicated.