The European Commission will start pre-suspension procedures for more Regional Operational Programs (POS) for Romania, on Transport and Competitiveness, according to Romanian media, quoting diplomatic sources. The official announcement will be made by the Regional Development Commissioner Johannes Hahn.
Suspending the funding comes after deficiencies were found in the audit, mainly fraud. Payments for Transport and Competitiveness were interrupted in July this year, and the pre-suspension procedure was the next step. Romanian authorities will have to apply the EC recommendations within two months to solve problems. If this does not happen, funds will be suspended. Romania was warned in the beginning of September that this might happen.
The country’s EU funds absorption rate is among the lowest in the EU, of 9.7 percent in September. The European Commission (EC) direct reimbursing to Romania was just over EUR 1 million, while the payments were blocked on the five main operational programs.
Romania managed to access in the first nine months of this year nearly EUR 850 million from the structural and cohesion funds. The target early in 2012 was EUR 3.5 billion, with an absorption rate of 20 percent.