Author: Valentin Lozovanu
One of Romania’s obligations as a full member of EU is to donate money for the development of third countries. Official Development Assistance (ODA) is an area governed by good practices and recommendations at European level, while Romania is still at the stage of accumulating experience.
In 2007 Romania identified the Republic of Moldova as priority country for redirecting its development funds.
Once thawed in the political relations between the two countries, Romania has decided to give Moldova for the next four years (starting 2010) a grant of 100 million euro. These funds come in excess compared to the sums in the ODA system, already offered as part of European obligations (ODA is managed by the MAE and was about 900 000 in 2010). Romania’s lack of experience as a donor is felt, especially given that in Moldova there are currently 20 active projects with 200 donors, and Romania’s contributions (strictly reported as ODA) have been modest so far, a total of around 2.55 million EUR.
As such, CRPE’s Policy brief no. 8 (only in Romanian), written by the expert in international assistance in Moldova Valentin Lozovanu, identifies several weaknesses of Romania’s presence in this area and makes some recommendations.
Problems in the efficient giving of ODA:
- There is still no Cooperation Agreement for development as requested by the Decision no.747 from 11/07/2007.
- Romania still has no Agency for cooperation for specialized development, as other new member states of the EU have, such as Poland and Slovakia. As a consequence, the expertise is always lost.
- Although at national level the authority that coordinates ODA is MAE, the fact that the 100 million EUR are managed by the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism leads to the fragmentation of efforts and the lack of a single speaker in Bucharest.
- Although it’s been one year since the signing of the Agreement, the data communicated by the Romanian officials reveals the fact that there were given only seven million EUR from the account of 100 million.
- Direct allocations of assistance by Romania through national authorities and/ or in agreement with the civil society.
- Diversification of the areas of giving financial aid to projects that support the interconnection infrastructure: roads, power lines, gas pipelines and electricity, and railway infrastructure.
- Developing a set of new normative acts and adjusting existing ones in accordance with European legislation and practice regarding quality standards.
- Assistance for the development of the rural extension.
- Diversification of the financing mechanisms which should be taken into account by Romania:
- Through budgetary support (for example through the National Fund for Regional Development FNDR);
- Through the Agencies for Regional Development.
- Through NGOs in agreements with the beneficiaries (APL) facilitating the knowledge transfer from NGOs who have already accumulated this expertise from practice/implementation of projects.
The report appears in the project “Monitoring the Parternship for Integration Romania-Republic of Moldova” developed by the Romanian Center for European Policies (CRPE) and financed by the Soros Foundation Romania.
The report is available only in Romanian, here.