MEP Corina Cretu, former European Commissioner for Regional Policy, expressed, on Friday, in Tulcea, her trust that all the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (PNRR) sent by member-states will be approved by the European Commission and encouraged the small and medium-sized enterprise owners to access structural funds.
She participated in the national conference titled "Private investments where to? How do we finance the future of agriculture and tourism in the next seven years?", event initiated by the Organization of Women Entrepreneurs of the General Union of Industry Owners of Romania.
"I don't think any National Recovery and Resilience Plan will be rejected, as they say. We are no longer in the stage where plans get sent back in full, but on certain segments, as they are very large sums of money and there can be inconsistencies in calculating costs, it's natural that the European Commission, before sending the 13 pct pre-financing money, will request clarifications. I believe that a higher coherence and synergy is necessary here and I hope that here, in Tulcea, there is coordination between European funds and local budgets for the next seven years," said Cretu.
The MEP from Pro Romania encouraged small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) owners to access structural funds.
"We have this unique plan, PNRR, a historical chance that is granted to European states to recover after the pandemic, 29.2 billion euro, of which half are grants, half are loans. Unfortunately, the Romanian state, through the PNRR, did not offer to SMEs anything on the grant component, but you are invited to access the loan component. Only Romania and Italy submitted projects on the loan component, the others said that they do not assume the risk to indebt future generations and will not access the loan component. From my point of view, it's an opportunity. They're loans with an interest rate negotiated by the European Commission, in any way more advantageous than that up to now. I believe we should use all the chances we have," said the MEP.
Corina Cretu expressed hope that in the shortest time the PNRR will be approved and mentioned that in the financial exercise 2021-2027 the structure of operational programs will be modified, at the request of the Romanian authorities.
She also expressed her belief that European funds specialists should not depend on political structures, saying that "Romania, so many years since adhesion, should have had a body of thousands of specialists in European funds that would not depend on political structures."
During the national conference, the participants presented possibilities for financing for projects in agriculture, proposals for development at the European level for Romania, the financial instruments necessary to the private business environment, the necessity of reform in tourism and the importance of developing and certifying ecologic agriculture.
The conclusions of the conference will be sent to the relevant ministries in the hope that their points of view will be taken into consideration by the national authorities in drawing up development policies.