Intra-regional cooperation can lead to an increase in the degree of usage of European funds

A closer cooperation between regions can lead to a significant increase in the degree of absorption of European funds, for the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework, stated MEP Iuliu Winkler (UDMR, EPP), Wednesday, at the “Twinned regions open for support of SMEs and urban-rural development through EU funded projects” debate, which took place at this year´s “Open Days” event at the Committee of the Regions.
The debate in Brussels saw the participation of Mr. Csaba BORBOLY, President of Harghita County and member of the Committee of the Regions, who held a presentation with the theme, “How to think global and act local?”, along with the President of the Hunedoara County Government, Adrian Nicolae David.
With this occasion, Winkler showed that the sole program that exceeded a 60% utilization of the European cohesion funds is the Regional Operational Program (ROP). “If we look at Romania, we observe that the only operational program that succeeded in absorbing over 60% of the European funds is the ROP. This means that decentralisation has a positive effect on the formulation of projects, as well as their financing and implementation. In Romania, the Environmental Operational Program witnessed an over 47% absorption, the Human Resources Program 46%, while the Competitiveness one did little bit better, using 58% of the funds – but the latter was also a program which functioned more or less in a decentralized manner”, further added the UDMR MEP.
“Romania has problems in when it comes to its performance in absorbing European funds. (…) We however have a huge potential for the absorption of funds under the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework”, declared Iuliu Winkler. In his opinion, this potential can be enhanced through inter-regional cooperation. “After 8 years since the EU accession, the degree of cooperation between all the stakeholders involved in the utilization of European funds has risen. Since we have more experience, while also being much more open for collaboration and finding the most suitable partners, we are now capable of elaborating better projects and of performing much better”, said the MEP.