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Minister Ghinea: We have agreed to submit PNRR on May 31

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Minister of European Investments and Projects Cristian Ghinea announced on Monday that Romania will submit the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) on May 31.

"In the discussion with the President [Klaus Iohannis], with Mr. Orban, with the Prime Minister [Florin Citu] and the two Deputy Prime Ministers, we agreed that tomorrow, in the meeting I will have with Vice President Vestager of the European Commission, we will follow the May 31 timeline for the PNRR," Ghinea said in Parliament.

"We are continuing discussions on all projects and all components. The European Commission has this kind of dialogue with all Member States. So far only one state has submitted [the PNRR]. My bet is that we will have more states that will send [it] after April 30 than states that will send [it] before," said Minister Ghinea.

"There was no mistake. There is a great distance that we have to recover in terms of administrative capacity, the capacity to propose projects and we have made extraordinary efforts in these three months, together with the ministry team, and with all the line ministries. ( ...) Apart from the fact that PSD [the Social Democratic Party] wants to score some points on hysteria, there is no reason to worry. (...) I am very satisfied that we have the education component, the health component, the transport infrastructure component, the component of new nurseries, of measures that are appreciated by the Commission, with which we almost shook hands and there are other components on which we have to work very hard to convince the European Commission. There are some technical problems, there are some other political ones. For instance, the allocation of 4 billion euros for motorways, I consider that it is a political issue, in the sense that the Commission should not have a component on increasing the allocation, the commission should have technical observations," Ghinea explained.

In this context, the minister called on the PSD leadership "not to undermine the tough negotiations with the European Commission".

"When you are in a tough negotiation with an external partner, then you are undermined by people who mess around and make statements," Ghinea added.

Ghinea participated on Monday in the working meeting convened by President Klaus Iohannis at the Cotroceni presidential Palace on the topic of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. The meeting was also attended by Prime Minister Florin Citu, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Ludovic Orban, Deputy Prime Ministers Dan Barna and Kelemen Hunor.

 

Prime Minister Florin Citu declared on Monday that a negotiation process of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) is currently underway, and Minister of Investments and European Projects Cristian Ghinea "couldn't have done anything wrong".

"At the moment, and it must be clear to everyone - we are in the process of negotiating this plan. We have some priorities in Romania that the coalition supports, but it is clear that these priorities must be set in this system that the European Commission has the money of giving this money. We are in a period of negotiations, you know that only one country has submitted this program so far, I don't see any problem at the moment. (...) There have been online negotiations and the relevant ministers were alongside Minister Ghinea," said Florin Citu in Parliament, where he participated in a meeting of the governing coalition.

Asked if Minister Ghinea was wrong, he said: "He couldn't have done anything wrong." "At the moment we are negotiating, you know very well the structure, there is a mandate for the ministry to negotiate this form of the PNRR (...), and the coordination of the negotiation - I am the one who coordinates, is done under my supervision. This project has over-contracting, it was a decision of the coalition to go for a larger amount and now we are negotiating. (...) We do not have a final form yet. (...) We will prioritize depending on how these [financing - ed.n.] sources come and we will do all the projects in the government program," the prime minister explained.

He mentioned that all the ministries were involved in this process and the governing coalition will continue to be involved, namely both deputy prime ministers.

 

În turn, Deputy Prime Minister Kelemen Hunor, leader of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR), said on Monday that Romania has not exceeded any deadline, the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) has not been rejected.

He added that coalition leaders continue to discuss the best solutions for each component.

"Let's see what those mature projects are with which we can go before the Commission in the discussions that Minister Ghinea will have in the coming weeks. And somewhere on May 30-31 this document must be ready, as recommended by the Commission not only to Romania, to all the member states, when saying that April 30 is an indicative date. (...) What I discussed [with President Iohannis - ed.n.] was an absolutely open, correct discussion, without any resentment, because here nobody, neither Guinea, nor anyone else had any other opportunity to discuss than what it has been received from line ministries, and Romania has not exceeded any deadline, the plan has not been rejected and there is currently no delay in our relationship with the Commission. So there is no reproach and no resentment within the coalition over the talks so far," the deputy prime minister told Parliament at the end of a governing coalition meeting.

According to him, very well-described, mature projects must be brought, "because Minister Ghinea cannot go unarmed to the Commission, either."

"He receives ammunition from ministers. (...) Romania is not late and there is no problem in this respect. (...) All financial possibilities must be used and there is no delay. The Commission itself suggested to the Member States to continue the discussion and the preparations with national plans and there is time until May 31. So we're not late. We'll be late after May 31. Ratifications haven't been made in most Member States either, it's a very long process until we can say we're being late (...) In the coalition, we have put everything on a normal path and we will continue the talks in the coming days," Kelemen Hunor said. 

 

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