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PM Ungureanu about official cutting of European funds for POSDRU

Prime Minister Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu was told on Tuesday during the government meeting that Romania received an official letter from the European Commission by which the authorities are announced that the European funds reimbursement within the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development were ceased .

According to sources, Minister of European Affairs Leonard Orban announced the government meeting about the letter received from the European Commission on Monday night. 'The situation will be monitored and measures will be taken so as to remedy the problems, so as the payments of European money from the European Commission to the Romanian state should be resumed,' the sources indicated.

The Ministry of Labour, Family and Equal Opportunities took new measures regarding the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (POSDRU), such as the adoption of 'the unique registry of reimbursement applications and pre-financing applications,' support and audiences offices, according to the ministry.

As an anti-fraud measure, all beneficiaries must warrant that they have not offered nor gave, neither directly nor indirectly, any bribe to a public servant within AM POSDRU and the Regional Intermediate Bodies, regarding the projects submitted and the processing of the reimbursement requests.

The domain 'Unique registry of reimbursement applications and pre-financing applications' is added to the www.fseromania.ro website for the processing of the reimbursement applications and the payments made to beneficiaries in 45 calendar days.

AM POSDRU and the Regional Intermediate Bodies must grant audiences starting on March 1, each Thursday. The support offices will open starting on the same date (help-desks within the Management Authority and within the Intermediate Bodies).

Minister of Labour Claudia Boghicevici requested general director of AM POSDRU Carmen Rosu simpler procedures for beneficiaries, a better monitoring of projects, the completion of the personnel scheme and to speed up the projects.

'Cutting off reimbursements by the European Commission is a usual short-term procedure, precaution measure of the European Commission which is lifted once the member state repairs its deficiencies. The suspension means the entire programme is blocked. At the moment, AM POSDRU makes payments to beneficiaries from the state budget, and the procedure to select the projects runs normally. AM POSDRU management strive to conclude all recommendations by mid-March, so that the European Commission should resume reimbursements within this programme,' reads the release.

EC delegation will visit Bucharest end-February

The goal of the European Affairs Ministry is that the payments of the European Union funds as part of the the Operational Sectoral Programme for Human Resources Development be resumed at the end of March, Minister Leonard Orban said on Tuesday.

He announced a European Commission delegation will visit Bucharest at end-February for detailed talks on the phase in the implementation of the measures required by the European Commission. Orban explained it is about a procedure of cutting off the European funds repayments, which is a slight one and allows payments to be resumed after the measures called for by the Commission are implemented.

Orban made the remarks during a visit to the Senate, where he went to discuss the European funds issue and the fiscal stability treaty with the members of the European Affairs Commission.

'For the moment, we have avoided the suspension procedure, which would have meant blocking the entire process for at least six months. It is not about certain projects, it is about certain recommendations that have not been implemented', the minister said in explaining the EU executive's decision to cut off the payments.

He pointed out the national Management Authority and the intermediate bodies should have checked the projects under way. He said the executives of the Management Authority for the Human Resources Development Programme are the ones responsible for the cut-off payments.

According to the Government's spokesman Dan Suciu , the effect of cut off repayments from the European Commission under that Programme is ‘absolutely null' if the measure is enforced only till the end of March ' because the payments to those conducting such programmes are being made. If the time is such short, only three weeks, there is absolutely no problem, either for those conducting the projects or much less for the economy. Their share is not spectacular, unfortunately. ... We have received guarantees from the Labour Ministry and the Ministry of European Affairs things can be controlled by end-March'.