The European Commission has launched two programmes aimed at supporting co-operation and innovation in Romania.
The first project, launched with financing of €500,000 from the European Regional Development Fund, is set to be delivered in partnership with the World Bank; and is designed to build links between Romanian county capitals and their peripheral regions, as well as facilitating municipal innovation in Romania. Cities will be encouraged to develop collaborative projects for municipal improvements in the sectors of the circular economy; digitalisation; education; the environment and sustainability; entrepreneurship; and public transport provision. Experts from the Commission and the World Bank will provide support and advice to cities in designing their projects, identifying sectors potentially in need of improvement and making the most effective use of EU funding; and are expected to produce a report by the end of the year with concrete recommendations for further action.
The second project will be in effect until 2020 with a budget of €2m provided by the European Regional Development Fund; and will operate under the EU’s ‘Catching Up Regions’ programme, which aims to bring regions with low levels of income and growth in line with the rest of the EU. Commission and World Bank experts will assist regions in promoting innovation in Romania – particularly offering support to small and medium sized enterprises – and streamline the distribution of information between research organisations and businesses; as well as enabling regions better to commercialise research endeavours and create jobs in research and innovation.
Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy, Enlargement Negotiations and Regional Policy Johannes Hahn said: “Romania will benefit from significant resources to invest in sustainable urban development in the next long term EU budget 2021-2027. The work of Commission and World Bank experts, together with the Romanian authorities, will help pave the way for the success of these investments. In parallel, we are providing tailored support to Romanian regions so they can capitalise on their assets, cooperate with each other and become more innovative.”