Romania’s contribution to the EU budget over the last decade only totalled €13 billion, according to the country’s very first European Commissioner. EURACTIV Romania reports.
Since the Eastern European country joined the bloc on 1 January 2007, Romania has received €39 billion, claimed presidential adviser and former Language Commissioner, Leonard Orban, at an event to mark ten years of Romanian membership today (23 November).
During the same period, Romania contributed €13 billion, meaning Bucharest made a net gain of €26.5 billion. However, Orban admitted that a discussion could be had about whether the money had been spent wisely or not.
“We can talk about the quality of the spending of these funds. But even so, the payments were made into the state budget and were used to develop Romania,” Orban added.
The European Commission has warned Romania on numerous occasions about how it spends its EU funds, even temporarily blocking its access in 2015.
Orban highlighted that in ten years, Romania’s GDP has increased by about 60%, from €98 billion in 2006 to €158 billion in 2015. The former Commissioner also added that foreign direct investment doubled, from €34.5 billion in 2006 to €64.4 billion in 2015.
“Today’s Romania doesn’t resemble the one of five years ago, let alone the one of 2006. We have come a long way in terms of democracy and the country has strengthened. I want to look at our neighbours, who aren’t member states. We should compare their development with countries that have joined the EU. There are big differences,” insisted the former European affairs minister.