For the 2007-2013 (N+3 decommitment) programming period, “Romania ranked last in the European Union in terms of accessing European funds”, with the regional Human Resources Development Program (POSDRU) having “the smallest degree of absorption” among the EU funded programs in the country.
In August 2012, the POSDRU program was blocked for Romania by the European Commission over fraud concerns with regard to the period between 2009 and 2011. In February 2013, the program was unlocked, only to be once more interrupted in 2016 for irregularities registered between 2014 and 2016. In early 2016, in a speech before the Senate, Aura Răducu – at the time, Romania’s Minister for European Funds – declared that “these programs had great problems throughout their implementation between 2007 and 2015, both in elaborating guides, selecting projects, and implementing”.
This is the official picture, which is usually accompanied by cold financial analyses on Romania’s absorption ratio of EU funds over the years. But what about the personal stories behind it? Continue reading