vineri, 30 noiembrie 2007

Money from budget for unfinished ISPA projects

On Wednesday, the Government approved to complete by 500 million euros the funds for unfinalised ISPA projects, declared on Thursday the Minister of Economy and Finance (MEF), Varujan Vosganian, at a seminar organised by Finnmedia on the theme "Structural funds in Romania". The minister mentioned that the supplement was also necessary to cover the currency risk caused by the depreciation of the national currency. "The execution of the projects financed under the ISPA pre-accession funds for which fund supplementations were approved will be very strictly monitored, the Minister said. The ISPA programme, together with Phare and SAPARD, is part of the pre-accession funds. Over the period 2000-2006, 42 environmental projects financed from ISPA (Pre-accession Structural Instrument) funds were approved. ISPA funds financed 29 water/wastewater projects (in the counties of Galaţi, Hunedoara, Suceava and Caraş-Severin), seven projects in the integrated waste management (in the counties of Bacău and Argeş) and six technical assistances for the preparation of environmental projects, with the aim of strengthening institutional capacity. The total amount of the approved project is almost 1.45 billion euros, of which 1.045 euros ISPA grant, around 195.35 million euros EIB loans, approximately 110.95 million EBRD loans and 99.99 million euros from other sources (local budgets, state budget). The countries that applied for money must also implement the projects that are granted financial assistance under ISPA. The Minister of Economy and Finance, Varujan Vosganian, recommends the Romanian authorities to cooperate with foreign consultants in the management of European funds, asserting that, in Romania, there is no strong enough expertise as regards making up projects financed under such funds. "As relates to certain components, the capacity to make up projects is weaker, and the Romanian authorities should work with international consultants, banks or companies", Vosganian said. The Minister reaffirmed that Romania would not be a net beneficiary of European funds this year, as long as it would receive 1.5 billion euros by the end of the year, representing structural funds, pre-accession and Schengen facility funds, while its contribution to the European Union budget would be 1.1 billion euros. Last week, the Minister said he was expecting Romania to absorb between 2.5 and 3 billion euros from EU funds next year, as compared to 1.5 billion euros this year.

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