The European Commission finally endorsed Romania’s €29.2 billion recovery and resilience plan after months of negotiations.
“So, our approval today (Monday) is an important milestone towards the disbursement of more than €29 billion, which is more than 10% of the GDP, over the next years,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during a news conference in Bucharest.
She emphasised that the approval is good news but by no means the end of the journey.
“But in some ways, the hard work begins now because now it is about implementing and delivering the plan. And here, one word on absorption. We all know, and we have discussed that together, that timely selection, planning and implementation of projects will be crucial,” the Commission’s chief said.
This comment nods to a big hurdle for Romania in the coming period as it is well-known that the local authorities are not the quickest in adopting reforms, nor the best experts when it comes to drawing the EU funding.
However, Prime Minister Florin Citu promised the government would pay close attention to the implementation of the recovery plan. “One thing I can guarantee is that the Romanian government will implement all the reforms undertaken, will achieve all the proposed targets and will fulfil all its tasks so that Romania will get all the money made available,” Citu said.
President Klaus Iohannis called all central and local governments representatives to make the national recovery and resilience plan their absolute priority.
“This is a chance we are not allowed to miss – the chance to make Romania’s economy more efficient, more sustainable and better prepared for any crisis that may arise. It is the chance to leave to future generations a profoundly revamped Romania,” he said.
(Bogdan Neagu | EURACTIV.ro)