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PM Citu: We'll go to Brussels with PNRR keeping within earmarked funds

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Prime Minister Florin Citu said on Wednesday that Romania would go to Brussels with the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) keeping within earmarked funds.

"The priorities Romania assumed in the governance programme will be represented in this PNRR as well. We are not dropping any project. There has been a discussion on improving what we have had so far. They asked for more details. Some of the ministers will go to Brussels, in the period ahead, to better explain the projects. (...) I believe there are two or three projects where amounts differ, but the projects stand, as they are important. This PNRR must be looked at in its entirety. Part of the projects will be completely financed under the PNRR. Other projects will be partially funded from the PNRR and other sources - budget or European funds. At the moment, we have this cost reduction, we are going to the European Commission and we'll discuss the technical details. We'll go to Brussels exactly with the earmarked amount. There are countries that have exceeded the allotment," Citu said after the governing coalition meeting.

Asked wether there would be more objections from the European Commission, Citu replied: "No one can give guarantees. We have our specialists who will make sure that the details we have be the ones the European Commission requires." 

There is a difference of opinions between the Romanian Government and the European Commission regarding the National Resilience and Recovery Plan (PNRR), declared, on Thursday, the minister of Investments and European Projects, Cristian Ghinea, at private broadcaster Digi24, mentioning the motorways, irrigations and culture.

"There are 350 investment lines in PNRR. I went through with it last night with the coalition leaders. In most cases we are talking about a reduction of sums because there were cases where, just as we were expecting, we did not have a very good substantiation of flows. It is not dramatic. I would abstain from giving details because I would be speaking about ongoing negotiations. Also, if you haven't noticed, I held these negotiations with the European Commission, pretty low profile, so to speak, meaning that I did not feel the need to make negotiations public. Nowhere, in any country, were negotiations made public," Cristian Ghinea highlighted.

The Minister of Investments and European Projects said that negotiations, being ongoing, "one must have patience to finish them and to come out at the end of the month with details and what we agreed with the European Commission".

He explained that there are still points where there is a difference of opinion between the Government and the European Commission, such as the fund for Territorial Administrative Units or culture funds.

"Where we did not agree, I told you: motorways, irrigations, culture and a few other. We cannot want everything and especially we must have very good technical arguments where we want them to be. For motorways we have projects which can be done by 2026. The absolute priority is the Motorway to Moldavia, the A7. There we are firm, we are maintaining this position," Cristian Ghinea declared.

Furthermore, he mentioned that Romania has an auditing system which surpasses the criteria of the European Commission. The minister declared that there have been discussions regarding which type of audit to be used and decided to use the one for classic European funds and that is a guarantee for the Commission that the money will not be stolen.

He also said that the term for submitting the plan is May 31 and that there is a lot of work on the technical side.

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