SAR Report 2011: Rich and Starving. Romania Finds It Too Difficult to Spend €15M/day

For a state struggling to pay the pensions and salaries of its civil servants, Romania looks as if it’s living an absurd drama. It has finances for various investments but is unable to make use of them. It must spend no less than €15 million per day until 2015, in order to absorb the total funds allotted by the EU for the 2007-2013 budget cycle, and judging by the fact that the present absorption rate is €1.13 million per day, the “no policy action scenario” makes full absorption prospects seem completely unrealistic.

In fact, during the four years elapsed so far of its EU membership, Romania only spent 8.6% of the total allotted funds for the 2007-2013 budget cycle. Nor is Romania’s position encouraging from an international perspective, for, together with Bulgaria, our country sits at the very bottom of new member states rankings. The average absorption rate of the other EU-8 countries for the same period is around 22%.

Based on the most recently released data Romania, could lose money in the area of transport, administrative capacity and technical assistance. However, an internal comparison of the implementation of the seven Operational Programs (OP’s) throws a different light on the Romanian case, although with variable results.

Read more about the rate of absorbtion for structural funds in Romania here.

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