Romania still has the option to develop projects using European Union non-reimbursable funding. This is an opportunity for existing or new business owners, but as with any bureaucratic process, this too requires knowledge and patience. Some tips, as the ones we'll give below and future articles in this section will be of help.
By Roxana Mircea
In order to write a good project, based on the necessities but also on the financial capacity of the applicant, there are some tips for the potential applicants, that plan to access either European funds, or state aid.
Study the business you would like to finance through EU funds
As on the majority of lines the competition is quite high, the applicant has to have a good score obtained by hiring new employees, age of the shareholder, financial indicators, so it is not easy to maintain the investment for 3-5 years, depending on the line and also the employees.
Take into consideration the fact that you cannot do something before having signed the financing contract; it takes minimum 6 months for the projects to be evaluated, so you should plan to have the equipments in an year.
Example: on the line 312 FEADR, for each EUR 25.000, non-refundable, you have to employ a person
Chose carefully your consultant
It is very important to have a good consultant to advise you from the beginning until the end of the project on needed documentation but also about legislative aspects in Romania: construction, activity, needed permits etc.
The decision should be based on the proved experience of the consultant on the specific financing line where you plan to submit your project. Something that few know: the costs with the consultant are deductible from the total project costs.
Example: If you would like to submit a project on the state aid line HG1680/2008, ask the consultant to prove you his experience =approved projects on this line
Give your project a size in line with your financial capacity
After a first discussion with the consultant you should analyze the budget of your project, the period of implementation depending on the amount that you can put, either as a loan or your own money.
Example: If you have a EUR 200.000 euro, you receive 70% non-refundable , you support 60.000 euro in the end +VAT if you buy the equipments from Romania, or the society pays VAT.
All the non-refundable lines function based on the principle of reimbursement-you pay the equipments and the Authority reimburse you 70% of what you’ve spent, so you need money for hauling time.
Collaborate with the consultant and the team involved
Accessing EU funds it is a long time partnership with the consultant, taking from one to three years, from 1-3 years. You need to provide the requested documents respecting the deadlines, especially when you have a session to submit the project.
Example: if the session to submit projects is in September 2011, you should start preparing the project-buy the land, prepare the draws, ask for offers etc in order to have the project ready in September.
It is vital not to do something without informing the consultant-either you want to give up the project, either you want another provider, always consult.
We will get into more details about the most interesting financing lines in our next articles.
Have you had issues with accessing European Funds in Romania? What was your experience with EU-funded projects in this country? Feel free to leave a comment below or send us an e-mail to [email protected]
Roxana Mircea is a specialist in non-refundable state aid and in EU- funded projects. She has been working in these areas since 2007 and has coordinated more than 130 such projects. To get in touch with her, e-mail roxana.mircea[at]fonduri-europene.tel