Romania will ask Commission to postpone filing of national recovery plan

The EU is set to become Europe’s largest supranational bond issuer within the next five years as a result of its SURE and NextGeneration programmes aimed at helping the bloc’s economies to recover from the damage caused by the Covid–19 pandemic. [Shutterstock/LALS STOCK]

Romania will ask the European Commission to postpone by one month the official filing of its national recovery and resilience plan, EU Investment Minister Cristian Ghinea said on Monday.

The government is facing some setbacks in the negotiations with the Commission as the plan includes investments of more than €41 billion, €11 billion more than the allocation for Romania in the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRP).

The Romanian government sent a preliminary version of the RRP and various ministers already visited Brussels to discuss the plan with the Commission.

However, the EU executive disagrees with Romania’s interpretation on some issues, including agriculture and transport infrastructure projects. The Commission is “reserved” when it comes to funding gas distribution infrastructure, said Ghinea, pointing to another chapter that Romania wants to finance from the recovery funds. 

Brussels also wants the investments included in the RRP to be more than ideas put on paper. Especially since Romania is known for its weak administrative capacity and delays in the implementation of EU funded projects, the EU executive is hoping to see mature projects that can be completed before the end of 2026.

On Monday, Ghinea, Prime Minister Florin Citu, and leaders of the parties that form the governing coalition met with President Klaus Iohannis to discuss negotiations on the recovery programme.

After the meeting, Ghinea said he would tell the Commission’s executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in a video conference scheduled for Tuesday, that Romania will file its Recovery and Resilience Program by 31 May.

The Commission recommended the plans to be sent by the end of April, but Ghinea says there are already a few member states that announced they will file their plans after the deadline that has been set for 30 April. (Bogdan Neagu | EURACTIV.ro)

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