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Brussels, 27 June 2007

Cohesion policy 2007-2013: Commission agrees plan and priorities with Romania

Regional policy Commissioner Danuta Hübner and Employment and social affairs Commissioner Vladimír Špidla have reached agreement with Romania on its national plan and priorities for Cohesion policy 2007-2013. In their National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), Romanian authorities describe how they plan to use EU funding worth € 19.21 billion over seven years in line with the Lisbon agenda. The adoption procedure has now been completed on the Romanian framework, including its priorities, indicative annual allocations, and list of operational programmes.

Romania sent its National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) to the European Commission in February 2007. Commissioner Hübner explained: "I am very satisfied that this newcomer country has set its priorities so quickly. We will be there for Romania in this moment of rapid transition. Concretely, we expect that this European support will help to generate 15-20 % of additional GDP growth by 2015. This will be a stimulus for the whole economy, and Romanians can look forward to new, better job opportunities.'

According to Commissioner Špidla, "The Romanian strategy contains a strong commitment to promoting investments in human resources. This shows once again that more and better jobs lie at the heart of the European reform agenda. With the priorities chosen by Romania, workers will be able to adapt more easily to changing circumstances. The strategy will also boost employment and promote social inclusion."
The NSRF defines in broad terms how Romania, in the next seven years, will use its allocation of € 19.21 billion of EU resources to achieve its objectives of promoting economic growth, job creation, strengthening human capital and ensuring balanced and harmonious development including the reduction of regional disparities.


The broad priorities of the NSRF will be implemented through seven operational programmes (OP):

Three programmes will receive funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF): the regional operational programme, the programme for boosting economic competitiveness, and the technical assistance operational programme. These programmes will, among other things, help small businesses to find the finance, advice and technical infrastructure they need to grow, create sustainable growth poles in large and medium-sized cities, improve the application of research results to business, and promote energy efficiency and the use of alternative energy sources.

Two programmes will be funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). These will focus on human resources development and the improvement of administrative capacity, an important prerequisite for the successful implementation of structural funds. Finally, two programmes prioritise the improvement of basic infrastructure of the country, especially for transport and environment. They include building or rehabilitating 1400 km of roads.

Notes for editors

Approval of the NSRF is a legal prerequisite for adoption of operational programmes. Negotiations on these are at present in their final stages. More than half of the Member States have had their NSRFs officially adopted by the Commission.

In drawing up their NSRFs, all Member States must take account of the Community Guidelines on Cohesion for 2007-2013, which place particular emphasis on innovation, research and technological development, the information society, environmental protection, renewable energy sources and creating more and better jobs. The NSRF must also tie in closely with Member States' national reform programmes, which set out the measures they will implement to deliver the Lisbon jobs and growth strategy.
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