The European Commissioner for regional development, Corina Cretu, warned on Tuesday after a meeting with new PM Viorica Dancila that Romania is risking the loss of some very important EU funds if it doesn’t make major efforts to absorb the funds this year.

Cretu said that there are issues with regional development, where Romania risks losing billions of euros in 2018, and there are delays in projects related to transport and regional hospitals.

“I fully trust the new government to be aware of the remaining problems and act quickly towards coming up with the best solutions to speed up implementation”, she stated.

The Dancila government has a February 23 deadline to come up with a common action plan with European forums in which they propose solutions for the faster absorption of European funds, according to Corina Cretu, who said that “decisive action needs to come from Bucharest, from the authorities in the country, and the work pace needs to be accelerated”.

PM Viorica Dancila admitted that there are delays in the construction of the three planned regional hospitals, of the M6 subway line and the Campia Turzii-Ogra-Targu Mures highway, all made possible by EU funds. However, she promised that over the next month she will work with ministers to identify solutions.

Corina Cretu added that Romania made progress during the last year, and especially over the last few months, after management and control authorities for EU funds were accredited, but that it shouldn’t slow down.

Romania has a regional fund allocation of over EUR 20 billion, of which it has only absorbed EUR 1 billion, and EUR 2.8 billion are engaged in projects for roads that should have been completed in the previous financial period.

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