Just two weeks after the Commission has given the green light for accession on 1st January 2007, Romania sets a clear signal by signing an agreement on a potential range of projects and measures for close cooperation with the EIB, the EU's finance institution.
On the edge of the EIB Forum held in Athens on 19/20 October 2006, the Republic of Romania, represented by its Minister of Finance Sebastian Vladescu, and the European Investment Bank, represented by its President Philippe Maystadt, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding setting a framework for the EIB's support to the country's investment programme during the next years. While financing will be based on specific project proposals, the agreement indicates that such financing may be in the order of EUR 1 bn per year and can be adjusted in line with needs.
The overall cooperation between the Republic of Romania and the EIB will focus on the following development objectives:
- Set up dedicated co-financing facilities and new mechanisms for investments that come under the EU Cohesion and Structural funds facilities;
- Cooperate closely in the implementation of projects financed by the Bank using the technical and sectoral experience of the Bank also for the effective absorption of EU grants. This includes offering a dedicated pool of expertise for the preparation of selected Cohesion and Structural Funds projects through the JASPERS National Action Plan initiative;
- Improve the sources of funding for SME through the JEREMIE programme with the participation of the Bank's subsidiary EIF specialized in venture capital and guarantees;
- Support sustainable investments in City Areas though the specifically designed JESSICA programme;
- Assist the Government and private partners in the structuring and implementation of PPP projects.
This agreement marks an important commitment from the Bank to a member country, EIB President Maystadt said in Athens at the signing of the agreement. He added that due to the scale of investments and support required, the Bank will soon open a local office in Bucharest including the EIB and JASPERS representatives.
The Romanian Minister of Finance, Sebastian Vladescu, stated that the investments to be supported under the new Memorandum represented key priorities for Romania. The EIB is an important partner of Romania and can play a substantial role in helping absorb future EU grants to help meet the long-term investment needs of the country.
The EIB is committed to supporting the successful integration of Romania within the Union. The EIB's cumulative financing in Romania stands at EUR 4.3 bn through some 47 projects in a wide range of key economic sectors.