European Commissioner Cretu says Romania’s future Parliament hopefully harmonises national, European legislation

European Commissioner Cretu says Romania’s future Parliament hopefully harmonises national, European legislation

European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu on Monday voiced hope that Romania’s future parliament ensuing from the December 11 election will bring national legislation in line with the European one, underscoring that because of a new urban agenda of the EU, the relevant policy at European, national and local levels will improve so as to generate actual benefits for the citizens.

Addressing a conference called ”My City in Our Europe”, Cretu mentioned the urban agenda of the European Union recently adopted by the European institutions, the urban dimension of the EU’s cohesion policy and urban development in Romania linked to the cohesion policy.

“The urban agenda focuses on three areas where we should act. Firstly, better regulation, which means more efficient and more consistent regulations in the legislation in force. From such point of view (…) my hope is that the ensuing parliament will be able to bring the national legislation in line with the European one to, first of all, make life easier for beneficiaries. And I mean here better financing, easier access to European funds because, as you may know, one week ago the European Commission submitted to the European Parliament and the European Council changes in the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework. We suggested some technical change that can have a major political impact because it is about transparency and getting much easier access to European funds. (…) Yet, I would like to underscore that this process of simplification can only be implemented if our efforts go hand in hand with national and local actions,” said Cretu.

She added that the regulations for the use of European funds alone are 600 pages long, and that is why local or national administrations should not added any more rules.

“I have seen, even in Romania, projects that require 30,50, 70 signatures, some talk about tons of papers signed. You should know that that is not a requirement from the European Commission, but national regulations pure and simple. The simplifications surely come with additional responsibilities for the member state attached for proper audit and more oversight, of a better quality as far as the use of European funds goes. Hopefully, these changes will contribute toward improving funding sources for urban development areas. As far as better knowledge is concerned, that will help the development of a knowledge base regarding urban aspects and exchanges of good practices. We have to do our job and maximise what we have now, the European funds. You know what the environment is in Brussels; this could unfortunately be our last historical chance of having so much funds focused for the 2014—2020,” said Cretu. More…