European Union        Government of Romania       Ministry for Regional Development and Public Administration       2007-2013 Structural Instruments

Minister Cristian Petrescu and Commissioner Johannes Hahn - Talks about Reallocation of Funds for Thermal Rehabilitation and Implementation of Contracted Projects

19 March 2012

Today, 19 March, in Bucharest, the Minister of Regional Development and Tourism, Cristian Petrescu, and the European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, discussed about the reallocation of European funds to carry out thermal rehabilitation works and about the pressure that the Managing Authority of the Regional Operational Programme (ROP) should put on the beneficiaries of contracts from European funds for their immediate implementation.

European Commissioner Johannes Hahn said that, throughout Europe, the investments in thermal rehabilitation works were successful investments and that, at the level of the European Commission, there are discussion on the opportuneness of reallocating for Romania European funds from the programmes where less contracts were made for the ROP Priority Axis 1 - Supporting the sustainable development of cities – urban growth poles. Minister Cristian Petrescu said that this European financial aid, granted for thermal rehabilitation works, is extremely important and that both the local public authorities and the citizens apply for this support. Minister Cristian Petrescu took pledge that the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism (MRDT) would do everything in its authority to meet the requirements of the European Commission for the fund reallocation to be possible.
Commissioner Johannes Hahn noted the high rate of contracting of the European funds that the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism manages under the Regional Operational Programme, nearly 90%, and recommended the ROP Managing Authority to show firmness when noticing that the beneficiaries do not implement the contracted projects on time. The European official said the ministry should follow up on observing the implementation schedule of European projects and not hesitate to terminate contracts where works do not start on time or are delayed.

During the meeting, the two officials also discussed about the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region, in which Romania, together with Bulgaria, plays the role of coordinating plays Priority Area 3 - Promoting culture, tourism and inter-community relations. The Romanian experts presented the current state of implementation of this strategy, and the European Commissioner recommended the Bucharest authorities that the projects to be carried out be thought from a transnational perspective, so that they could address to the largest possible number of European citizens from as many as possible countries.
"We had an extremely consistent working meeting. We had punctual discussions on important topics on our agenda and I was assured we would receive support from the European Commission to solve them. We will do everything in our power to obtain the reallocation of the European funds necessary for thermal rehabilitation, an aid that Romanians badly need today. There is money that risks remaining non-contracted under other programmes, which, in this way, we could bring into our economy. We would solve several problems, thermally rehabilitate buildings and put savings into citizens' pockets; in addition, we create new jobs. On the other hand, we took very seriously Commissioner Johannes Hahn's recommendation related to monitoring the implementation stages of European projects and we will strictly follow each project to make ensure that all contracted European funds are spent, as we committed ourselves. The Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism offers its full support to the local authorities to implement all these projects timely and effectively" said Minister Cristian Petrescu.