EC might ask Romania to improve management under more EU-funded programmes.

By bne IntelliNews October 1, 2012
The EC warned informally the Romanian government last month that it might soon launch an imminent suspension of structural funds under a number of sectoral programmes (SOPs) financed by the European Union, a confidential document leaked to news agency Mediafax and quoted by Ziarul Financiar daily showed. The warning was issued on Sept 7. The final conclusions have not been drafted yet and the decision might refer to whole programmes or only to segments of them. But Romania's audit authority can still send an updated report on the initial July report. The Commission has put under review four EU-funded programmes in Romania - namely aimed at regional development, competition enhancement, environment and transport, based on the report sent by the national audit authority. The Commission has already notified Romania in early September about a possible imminent suspension of funds under one programme -- the human resources development sectoral operational programme (SOP-HR). Romania stopped sending invoices for intermediary payments under the four SOPs (in addition to SOP-HR), while the Commission carries out the audit, after draining some EU funds in the beginning of the year only. EC officials, however, reportedly recommended that Romania continue submitting invoices for programmes that could be reimbursed by the EU budget once the suspension period likely to be recommended by the audit expires. After the Commission recommended remedial measures for the SOP-HR projects control in late 2011 and gave Romania six months to implement them, a follow-up audit concluded in early September that the results were unsatisfactory.

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