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Deputy PM Stefan: The budget deficit for 2018, below the objective of 3 percent of the GDP

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The budget deficit for 2018 will certainly stand below the objective of 3 percent of the GDP, in agreement with the treaties of the European Union, Deputy Prime Minister Viorel Stefan stated on Tuesday.

"In respect to the budget deficit for 2018, it will certainly stand below the objective of 3 percent of the GDP, in agreement with the European Union treaties. Furthermore, the adjustment of the structural deficit in view of achieving the medium-term objective is scheduled to start as of 2019," Viorel Stefan told the debate called the "European Semester 2018: Specific country recommendations and national response measures," organised by the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE).

Furthermore, the Deputy PM mentioned that the investments represent a priority of the Government for this year. 

"In regards to investments, they represent a priority of the Government for this year, with the focus on supporting the contracting authorities in preparing the public investment projects, as well as on rationalising the public investment process. Moreover, in view of accelerating investments, the Government has already carried out demarches for upgrading and simplifying the normative framework which governs the public procurement at national level," Viorel Stefan stated. 

Moreover, he mentioned that Romania is actively participating in all the steps of the European Semester, keeping a constant dialogue with the European Commission.

"The publication in May by the Commission of country-specific recommendations for its member states is one of the key moments of the Semester. The general objective of the recommendation proposals for this year is to encourage member states, in the current favorable economic context, to take measures meant to increase the national economies resilience," Viorel Stefan showed.

He mentioned that for Romania, the three recommendations of 2018 include aspects regarding the fiscal-budget policy, social dialogue and participatory governance, social protection, education, healthcare, a better regulation, prioritisation and implementation of investments in large infrastructure, public procurement and corporate governance of state-owned companies.

"I assure you that Romania's Government will respond to the country specific recommendations through measures that will confirm the political will to continue the reforms and strengthen the administrative capacity needed to implement them, certainly in line with the commitments made under the 2018-2020 Governing Programme. Overall, Romania has progressed in terms of implementing the country specific recommendations starting 2013, with some of the reforms being continued, according to the findings of the European Commission, even in times of economic difficulties," Viorel Stefan stated.

In her turn, Senator Gabriela Cretu, who is also the head of the Senate's European Affairs Committee stated that "the European Semester comes to supplement the lack of a common economic and budget policy."

"Achieving some common goals by the states that are in different economic and financial situations, but above all social, implies measures adapted to them. In declarative terms, all stakeholders agree that there are no universally valid solutions (...) The overall common objective would be convergence and cohesion. In the European Semester case, the arguments are mainly financial-economic (...) Cohesion and convergence are objectives that must be achieved and can be achieved, if the measures established at both levels, national and European, are convergent, converge themselves," Gabriela Cretu stated.

The debate called "European Semester 2018: Country specific recommendations and national response measures" was organised by the MAE, in partnership with the European Institute of Romania. The event is also attended by Minister-delegate for European Affairs Victor Negrescu, alongside representatives of the European Commission, the Education Ministry, the National Trade Union Bloc and the "Alma Mater" National Federation of Trade Unions.



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Wednesday, July 11, 2018