President Klaus Iohannis said Romania’s economy has to catch up with other EU members and he was committed to fighting for more than the current 44 billion euros allocated to Romania when the next long-term EU budget is decided.
Speaking after a European Council meeting, which European leaders joined online, Iohannis said he wanted to get “a considerably larger budget for the next term, and to fight to obtain favorable conditions for Romania.”
Thirteen years after joining the 28-member bloc, Romania remains one of the poorest members after Bulgaria, the poorest member state. Croatia, Poland and Hungary are slightly richer than Romania.
Iohannis said EU funds meant “money for economic development, for healthcare, for highways, for the railway, water and sewerage, for education, for renewable energy and many other things.”
Friday’s meeting mainly focused on the coronacrisis recovery package and the measures that must be taken on a EU level to address the coronavirus pandemic which has badly dented European economies.
It was the first discussion held by EU leaders on the 750-billion-euro recovery fund, along with a proposal for a 1.1-trillion-euro EU budget for 2021-2027. The plan needs to be approved by all the member-states.
The ‘Next Generation EU’ recovery fund would see the European Commission secure €750bn, using the EU budget as a guarantee.
“I think that it’s obvious Romania needs to the money to catch up with the average European Union countries.”
“This is our goal and when we meet (next time) physically, at the European Council, probably in mid-July I will be committed to getting as much as possible for Romania.”
European Parliament lawmakers are trying to find a common position among member states, to put the economy back on track urgently, with the recovery plan but also the long-term budget.
The fund is being touted as a decisive step for the EU towards recovering from the coronacrisis, but is also seen as a move towards closer fiscal union, something markets have welcomed by bidding the Euro higher