December 4 2021: The European Commission has today disbursed €1.8 billion to Romania in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the country's grant allocation under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The pre-financing payment will help to kick-start the implementation of the investment and reform measures outlined in Romania's recovery and resilience plan.
The country is set to receive €29.2 billion in total, consisting of €14.2 billion in grants and €14.9 billion in loans, over the lifetime of its plan.
Today's disbursement follows the recent successful implementation of the first borrowing operations under NextGenerationEU. By the end of the year, the Commission intends to raise up to a total of €80 billion in long-term funding, complemented by short-term EU-Bills, to fund the first planned disbursements to Member States under NextGenerationEU.
The RRF is at the heart of NextGenerationEU which will provide €800 billion (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across Member States. The Romanian plan is part of the unprecedented EU response to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, fostering the green and digital transitions and strengthening resilience and cohesion in our societies.
Supporting transformative investments and reform projects
The RRF in Romania finances investments and reforms that are expected to have a deeply transformative effect on Romania's economy and society. Notable measures are:
Securing the green transition: The Romanian Plan provides €3.9 billion for investments in the modernisation of railway infrastructure, including electrified or zero-emission railways and rolling stock. In addition, €2.7 billion will be invested for energy-efficient renovation and seismic renovation of multi-family buildings and public buildings, benefiting the environment and lightening households' energy bills. The renovation wave will increase the resilience of buildings to earthquakes and improve their accessibility for persons with disabilities and the elderly. Reforms and investments amounting to €855 million will support clean energy production by phasing-out of coal and lignite power production, deployment of renewables, and hydrogen. Moreover, the plan includes biodiversity and environmental protection measures focused on afforestation, reforestation and forest nurseries, as well as other biodiversity measures for ecological reconstruction and species protection, with investments amounting to €1.1 billion.
Supporting the digital transition: The plan provides €1.5 billion for the digitalisation of public administration in key areas such as justice, employment and social protection, environment, civil service management and skills development, public procurement, cybersecurity, tax and customs, while building a secure government cloud infrastructure and delivering electronic identity cards to 8.5 million Romanians. The plan invests €470 million for developing an integrated e-Health system, connecting over 25,000 healthcare providers and developing telemedicine systems. In addition, €881 million will be devoted to the digitalisation of education, to improve digital pedagogical skills, educational content and equipment.
Reinforcing economic and social resilience: The plan will support better decision making and fiscal sustainability through a reinforced budgetary framework, reforms of the tax administration and the tax framework, a reform of the pension system and better expenditure control. It will improve the business environment by measures strengthening the independence of the judiciary and enhancing its quality and efficiency, stepping up the fight against corruption and supporting a predictable, informed and participatory decision-making system. The plan will also help strengthen the resilience of the health system through investments in modern hospital infrastructure of €2 billion and will upgrade the education system through comprehensive measures addressing all education levels. In addition, the minimum inclusion income reform will simplify and improve social support for the most vulnerable, while creating incentives for employment and training. The Romanian plan will support territorial and social cohesion through the development, modernisation and decarbonisation of road transport and by improving road safety, with reforms and investments that amount to €3.9 billion.
Members of the College said:
President Ursula von der Leyen said: “I am delighted to see Romania receive its first disbursement of €1.8 billion under NextGenerationEU. This is an important step in implementing the measures contained in Romania's €29.2 billion recovery and resilience plan. I welcome reforms and investments facilitating the twin green and digital transitions. European funds will help modernise the health system and strengthen public administration in Romania. We will stand with Romania every step of the way to ensure that its people fully benefit from the plan.”
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Budget and Administration said: “Our NextGenerationEU funds raised on the financial market continue to support the digital and green transition in EU Member States, as just now with the disbursement of the pre-financement to Romania. I am sure that the Romanian citizens, businesses and the society as a whole will profit from the transformative investments and projects.”
Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy, said: “Today marks an important step for Romania's recovery as the country receives €1.8 billion in pre-financing. Romania's recovery and resilience plan is a blueprint for a more prosperous and sustainable future for the country, in environmental as well as social terms. This is a big plan, both in terms of funding and the ambitious reforms and investments set to be implemented in the coming years. The European Commission will support the Romanian authorities in their efforts to deliver on these commitments, which if successfully implemented will bring tremendous benefits to Romania's citizens and businesses.”