The charm of rural Romania, closer to tourists through EU money for village guesthouses

Village life in Romania is appealing to many tourists, especially to foreigners who want to discover the unspoiled, traditional life. As with all areas, investments in guesthouses in rural Romania require money, but in this case, money can be made easier available by applying for EU funding, through a line dedicated for such projects. Shareholders in the companies which apply for such funding can also be foreigners.

By Roxana Mircea; edited by Corina Saceanu

Micro companies and individuals who want to open guesthouses in villages may submit projects in order to access 50 percent non-refundable money, of up to EUR 200.000 to build and equip guesthouses of maximum 15 rooms.

What can become eligible? The construction, modernization, and expansion of tourism facilities with up to 15 rooms but also investments in recreational activities. The minimum value of an eligible project is of EUR 5,000.

For investments in tourism projects, 70 percent of the eligible costs but not more than EUR 70,000 per project are non-refundable. For other types of investments in rural tourism, half of the total eligible costs, not more than EUR 200,000 are non-refundable.

Similarly to all non-refundable projects, this line is based on the principle of reimbursement. The applicant pays gradually and receives back half of what they spend.

Now the conditions for being chosen for such a funding…. The applicant has to have (either as own property or with the superficies right for 10 years) at least 1,000 sqm of land for the new investments in villages with a touristic potential.

Each village is scored in an annex 10. This scoring contributes to the final scoring, which is also influenced by factors like: the applicant has never received funds, the investment will create 1 work place per 25.000 euro of non-refundable sum, the age of the applicant is under 40 years old for men, the investment also involves the production of renewable energy, among others.

The project should include the architectural design of the guesthouse, temporary permits, a request for financing, the proof of the financial capabilities (meaning a letter of comfort for the 50 percent + non eligible expenses).

For example: if the total eligible value of the project is of EUR 400.000, you receive EUR 200.000 euro not refundable.

The next session for submitting projects will be announced probably for the beginning of 2012. Plenty of time for you to start working on your projects. Generally, the project is evaluated around six months after it has been submitted. This line will be open until 2013 and the projects have to be finalized until 2015.

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]