Romania’s bids for EU funding criticised by own Commissioner

The Transfăgărășan highway, otherwise known as Ceaușescu's Folly, is one of Romania's rapidly-aging roads. [Shutterstock]

Romanian Commissioner Corina Crețu has urged her country to submit better quality bids for EU money, as the Eastern European nation struggles to secure all-important funding. EURACTIV Romania reports.

Creţu, who is European Commissioner for Regional Policy, said on Friday (1 October) that about 75% of road projects submitted to Brussels had been rejected, meaning the quality of the bids put together by local authorities were insufficient.

Romanian news outlet reported that Creţu had criticised her country’s lack of quality bids, citing the modernisation of road infrastructure as a real area of concern.

The Commissioner indicated that the executive will try to strengthen its dialogue with local and national authorities, in order to try and improve the way in which they apply for funding.

Crețu said it would be a “shame” if Romania were to lose out on the chance to modernise its infrastructure, just because of poor communication.

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“Romania has been allocated about €22 billion in cohesion funds, in addition to agricultural funding and other revenue streams. This could be the last time that Romania has access to such substantial sums,” she warned.

Speaking at an event in the eastern city of Iași, Crețu also highlighted the importance of EU wide cohesion policy and stressed the need to fight populism and euroscepticism.

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“Firstly, I see mayors and local authorities as my partners in the implementation of cohesion policy. It is perhaps the most visible policy that shows how Europe can change the lives of everyday people. Perhaps our greatest weakness is how we sometimes do not communicate sufficiently the benefits of the EU, of European funding and the budget. In this regard, I think it is our duty to fight populism and growing euroscepticism, but we must learn and adapt to the criticisms of citizens,” Crețu concluded.

The Commissioner was in Romania to meet with local authorities on the issue of EU-funded urban development projects.

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