The Romanian Academic Society (SAR) has found the declared interest for increasing the absorption of EU funds by Romania sometimes overshadows the importance of spending them in a correct way.
In a recently launched a policy brief report on the vulnerability of EU funds in Romania, SAR stated:
“Sometimes only the pure compliance with technical issues is verified, which are often left for the authorities with control and sanction attributions,” reads the report.
“Although this issue involves a variety of players that ‘shake hands’ so that scamming these funds could happen every day, this is too often considered an ‘inherent right’ or a political tool that raises some but brings down others,” the report goes on.
Fraud gets to be discussed in the media or in the civil society only when it comes to major damages involving political figures or when the existence of too many frauds leads to warnings from the European institutions, according to SAR.
According to the local media, the number of suspected frauds with EU funds had tripled in Romania in the last two years.
The report includes a list of recommended indicators that can be followed by public authorities responsible for the spending of EU funds, beneficiaries, civil society and the media, in order to minimize the risk of fraud and irregularities with EU funds.
The Policy Brief, based on a qualitative analysis of the use of EU funds in Romania, undertaken by the SAR team during March- June 2013, can be found here (in Romanian).
Irina Popescu, [email protected]