The European Commission has backed Romania's nearly 30 billion euro ($35.1 billion) recovery and resilience plan, setting out the reforms and public investment projects that the Eastern European country plans to implement with the support of the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).
The commission on September 27 adopted a proposal to provide 14.2 billion euros ($16.6 billion) in grants and 14.9 billion euros ($17.4 billion) in loans to Romania under the RRF to help it “emerge stronger” from the COVID-19 pandemic, it said in a statement.
EU member states now have four weeks to adopt the proposal, which would allow for the disbursement of 3.6 billion euros ($4.2 billion) to Romania in prefinancing.
Further disbursements will be conditioned upon the “satisfactory fulfilment of the milestones and targets outlined in the recovery and resilience plan, reflecting progress on the implementation of the investments and reforms,” according to the commission. It said its assessment found that the recovery and resilience plan presented by Bucharest responded to the criteria set by the EU, including measures that support the green and digital transitions, address economic and social challenges, and contribute to economic growth and job creation. “By focusing on measures to secure the green and digital transitions, from improving the energy efficiency of buildings to improving connectivity and digital skills, the measures set out in the plan have the potential to be truly transformative,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who was in Bucharest on September 27. EU Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentilonithe said that if successfully implemented, Romania’s commitments “will bring tremendous benefits to Romania's citizens and businesses.” The RRF is to provide up to 800 billion euros ($936.5 billion) to support investments and reforms across the EU as part of the bloc’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.