EU Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira - © Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock

EU Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira - © Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock

18 EU countries, including Romania, have already signed a partnership agreement with the European Commission for cohesion funds. Now the country can work on individual programmes

25/08/2022 -  Laura Girardi

Romania will receive a total of 31.5 billion Euros for the Cohesion Policy between 2021 and 2027 thanks to the recent signing of the Partnership Agreement with the European Commission. They will support the economic, social, and territorial cohesion of its regions and its digital and green transition. Romania is the 18th European country to sign the Partnership Agreement which will fund eight regional and nine national programmes.

“The investments of the Cohesion Policy – explained EU Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira – will concern sectors of fundamental interest for Romania. Good planning and implementation of the Programmes that are about to be finalised will help the development of innovation and digitisation and the dissemination of quality social and healthcare services as well as education and training opportunities, safe and clean transport and, in general, a more competitive economy. The funds of the Cohesion Policy will improve quality of life and ensure that no one is left behind”.

Of the available funds, 4.33 billion Euros will be allocated by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support Romania's economic innovation. The funds will be aimed at increasing the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises and will support research and innovation, in particular through collaboration between individuals and the academic world.

A boost for the green economy

The ERDF and Cohesion Fund will then invest 6.75 billion Euros in the green transition, and namely: green energy, reduction of carbon emissions, environmental infrastructure, conservation of green spaces, risk management measures, and sustainable urban mobility. The main objectives are the improvement of the energy performance of buildings, the development of renewable energy sources and intelligent energy systems, the support of the water sector, and the improvement of the circular economy.

In addition, the Fund for a Just Transition (JTF) has allocated 2.14 billion Euros to Romania to alleviate the economic and social impact of the green transition, with the aim of helping the regions most negatively affected by the phasing out of coal and lignite.

The modernisation of the healthcare system

Healthcare is another key area of the Cohesion Policy. In fact, 2.3 billion Euros will be invested to ensure access to the healthcare system for citizens and improve the efficiency and resilience of the healthcare sector. The funds will also go to the most vulnerable groups.

Sustainable transport

Many funds available for transport, to develop multimodality and sustainability. Particular importance will be attached to trains and railways and to the expansion of public transport in cities. Investments in Trans-European Internet Transport Networks (TEN-T) are intended to improve connections with peripheral regions in the Carpathian Mountains and facilitate connections with industrial centres.

Employment, skills, and the fight against poverty

The European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) will allocate 7.3 billion Euros to improve access to employment, in particular by focusing on youth unemployment, inclusion, and training.

The funds will be used to develop social entrepreneurship, increase access and the quality of social services such as education, and develop integrated social, educational, and healthcare services in 2,000 rural municipalities. Other objectives include reducing school dropout rates and fighting against child poverty, as highlighted by EU Commissioner for Labour and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit: "I welcome the Partnership Agreement with Romania (...). In line with the Youth Guarantee, ESF+ will support young people in finding their way into the job market. I am particularly pleased to see that Romania is making an effort to fight against child poverty by implementing the European Guarantee for Children”.

Sustainable fishing

Finally, it is worth mentioning fisheries as another sector which will benefit from investments thanks to the EU Cohesion Policy. The European Fund for Fisheries and Maritime Aquaculture (EMFAF) will invest a large sum to conserve biological resources in the Black Sea and control fishing.

“We will support innovative projects that contribute to the sustainable management of aquatic resources – said EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevicius – while simultaneously strengthening the economic and social vitality of coastal communities".


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