Corina Cretu visited Bacau together with PM Viorica Dancila on Monday to check on projects built using EU funds, and she pointed out that it is essential for efforts to be made to absorb as much EU money as possible, as it is the main instrument for the development of local communities, regions and countries.
Cretu said that the bureaucracy and complicated legislation in Romania, as well as legal challenges for auctions that cause long delays, are the main obstacles in the way of a faster funds absorption, but that the Commission’s experts are ready to help Romanian authorities.
In a previous conference, the commissioner spoke about the Sustainable Urban Development funds from the EU, with a total budget of EUR 1.2 billion for 2014-2020. In a Facebook post, Corina Cretu said: “39 county capitals in Romania are actively involved in planning, programming and investing this budget, which represents 11 percent of the total allocation for Romania in the European Regional Development Fund and 20 percent of the Regional Programme. It is the fourth highest allocation of all member states. Furthermore, cities can also access funds through other programmes, so there are resources available.”
She added: “In the past months, together with Romanian authorities I have worked on a new approach, which involves changing procedures so that project implementation is easier and more efficient.”
PM Dancila spoke about the measures planned for urban development: “Urban areas are drivers of economic growth and development, but they face serious social and environmental challenges, which is why competent authorities must prioritise measures for reducing pollution and for social inclusion, together with measures for economic development.”
Dancila also said that the government will soon approve projects for motorways that will be built using European funds.