Following President Traian Basescu’s deemed himself Romania’s best representative in Brussels, the other half of the political Odd Couple, PM Victor Ponta, has made a statement emphasizing the importance of the upcoming EU budget meeting, and its potential impact on Romania. Speaking today (November 20 ) the Prime Minister said that the proposal of European Council President Herman Van Rompuy would cost Romania EUR 7 – 8 billion in lost EU funding. PM Ponta also said in Parliament that the new proposed conditions would result in a reduction in EU co-financing from 85 percent to 75 percent of projects, implying extra costs to Romania of around EUR 6 billion.
The Prime Minister told Parliament that whoever represents Romania at the special meeting of the European Council, chaired by the Council’s President Herman Van Rompuy, must present and explain the figures to the EU summit and make the likely effect on all Romanians clear. Victor Ponta also said that the simple breakdown of the amounts to a per capita rate was not enough. The impact on Romania’s capacity to have a competitive agriculture sector and infrastructure up to European standards.
The PM gave out some figures for absorption of EU Cohesion Funds that appeared more optimistic than some recent quotes. He said that since 2007 around half the funds for agriculture and rural development, around EUR 7 billion according the PM, had been accessed and that this figure could rise to 80 – 90 percent between 2013 and 2015. Victor Ponta did however concede that much money has been wasted gave the cost to Romania resulting from financial irregularities as EUR 600 million.
Earlier today, the President Traian Basescu said he was the best choice to represent Romania at the upcoming meeting on the EU’s budget for 2014 – 2020. Again, as happened with previous EU summits, President and Prime Minister have openly argued about which of them should go to Brussels.
Liam Lever, email@example.com
photo source: gov.ro