How is EU money spent in Romania?

In August 2012, the European Commission blocked for Romania the EU-funded Human Resources Development Program (POSDRU) over fraud concerns regarding funds used between 2009 and 2011. In February 2013, the program was unlocked, but it seems that old habits die hard, especially when it comes to spending money. The following is one example in this regard.

In early 2014, I have return in Romania from Finland, with a recent PhD diploma in Social Sciences and with the though of applying for a postdoctoral scholarship in my home country. After considerable struggle to have my diploma recognized in Romania, I was finally able to submit my application file. I was aiming for one of 40 postdoctoral scholarships offered through a multidisciplinary POSDRU project, each scholarship being of 3,700 lei (about 800 euro) per month for over one year. Sadly, however, I discovered that the competition organized for the selection of the 40 postdoctoral researchers was just a façade. I discovered that the list with the 40 persons that were accepted in the programme was actually known long before the opening of the competition. Together with thirty seven other researchers, in late May 2014, I filed complains to several Romanian authorities, but nobody seems interested to undertake a fair investigation and to see if our suspicions are justified. The following is a very short description of what we know. Continue reading