Romania could receive a budget of EUR 40 to EUR 47 billion from the European Union between 2014 and 2020, according to Romania’s European Affairs Ministry. Romania will thus not be disadvantaged when it will come to non-reimbursable funding from the EU during this period, said state secretary Cotovelea.
Romania’s EU funds absorption rate is worrying and places the country second to last among Central and Eastern European countries, according to a study by audit and advisory firm KPMG. The figures for contracted grants put Romania among the below average performers, together with Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Hungary, while neighboring Bulgaria is placed among the above average performers.
With an available budget of EUR 23.2 billion between 2007 and 2013, and contracted grants of EUR 14.6 billion, Romania paid only EUR 3.1 billion grants from EU funding, according to the KPMG report. Basically Romania contracted 60 percent of the amount available and paid only 15 percent of it to the beneficiaries, placing Romania somewhere between the second to last and last position.
The country also has the highest number of fraud cases with EU money. Between 2006 and 2011, 225 cases from Romania were put up for judicial consideration, 43.1 percent of these cases are pending a decision, while 56.9 percent of cases have already been judged, according to the European Commission’s (EC) Anti Fraud Office (OLAF). Germany came second, with 168 cases, followed by Italy, with 112 cases.
A high percentage of Romania’s fraud cases, 73.4 percent, were dismissed before trial, while 23.4 percent resulted in convictions.