Romania gained access to EU funds for business activities when it joined the EU in 2007. Since 2014, Romania has been able to significantly improve its fund absorption rate following considerable efforts on behalf of Romanian authorities aimed to improve institutional configuration and ensure sufficient administrative capacity, expertise, and accountability for EU funds projects.

Overall, results in 2016 have been under expectations. Nonetheless, starting with December 2016 and during the first trimester of 2017, a significant number of projects have been initiated, thereby increasing the expectation regarding the absorption rate.

Significant funds have been made available for 2014-2020, with six operational programs accessible for structural funds: competitiveness, human capital, large infrastructure, and regional operational programs. Two funds are available for agricultural and regional development.

The programs support:
• Research, innovation, technological, and sustainable energy development.
• Development of human capital and training.
• Transportation, environmental, and energy projects.
• Development for regions across Romania.
• Development of agriculture (production and processing of agricultural products, investment in storage, packaging, manufacturing of agricultural related products, including vegetables, fruit and animal husbandry), fisheries, and rural areas.

The approved priorities are transport infrastructure, business environment, climate change, education, and social inclusion projects.

Major infrastructure projects are allocated the largest percentage under the new scheme, and agriculture has also been assigned a significant amount.

For the major infrastructure program, Romania is expecting to receive EUR 9.4 billion in order to develop a sustainable and eco-friendly transportation system, as the country still requires a significant amount of investment in this area. This project will significantly improve the railways and road connections, cutting transportation costs and reducing travel times, thus bringing Romania closer to other member states in terms of infrastructure development, while also creating new business opportunities.

Overall, the infrastructure programme targets the following areas:

• Development of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) by improving road, railway, navigation and subway transportation systems.

• Development of multimodal, high-quality, durable and efficient transportation systems.

• Development of environment infrastructure through efficient resources management, based on waste water collection systems and recycling technology.

• Environmental protection and the rebuilding of degraded ecosystems, by preserving biodiversity, monitoring air quality and decontaminating polluted sites.

• Promotion of climate change adaptation measures, risk management and prevention.

• Promotion of clean energy and energy efficiency to lower carbon emissions.

• Energy efficiency of centralised heating systems and thermic energy distribution systems.

• Intelligent transportation systems for electricity and gas, expansion of energy capacities produced from renewable sources and interconnectivity with networks from other member states.

Agriculture has been assigned EUR 8 billion from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development for 2014 – 2020, aimed at three long-term strategic objectives in accordance with EU rural development policy:

• improvement of competitiveness in the agricultural and forestry sector;

• sustainable management of natural resources and climate action; and

• enhancing quality of life in rural areas and diversification of the rural economy through balanced territorial development.

The EU agriculture-related funds are to be assigned for:

• improving agricultural exploitation, product processing and market opening;

• supporting the new generation of farmers;

• developing rural infrastructure to attract investments and create new jobs in rural areas;

• encouraging the diversity of the rural economy by promoting SMEs in the non-agricultural sectors of rural areas;

• promoting the forestry sector through dedicated programmes;

• aiding local development by encouraging competition, improving the quality of life and promoting diversity in the rural economy.

Stratulat Albulescu

Email: office@stratulat-albulescu.ro

Phone: +40 (021) 316 87 49

Bucharest Offices:

27 Ion Brezoianu St., 6th & 8th Floors, Bog’Art Center, 1st Districy, Bucharest, Romania

www.stratulat-albulescu.ro

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