2021 – 2027 New European Funds Cycle in Romania
News brought by the Partnership Agreement for the programming period 2021 – 2027
The OMEGA Consulting team has initiated a series of presentations on the financial framework for the current programming period (2021 – 2027).
This first article is dedicated to the Partnership Agreement, which, although still in negotiations with the European Commission (the latest version being the one from October 9, 2020, available on the website of the Ministry of Investment and European Projects here), can give us an overview on the priorities and development directions for the new funding period.
The development directions are practically given by the 5 policy objectives (PO) and a specific objective (related to the Fair Transition Fund):
• OP 1 – A smarter and more competitive Europe – 4.92 billion euros (ERDF)
• OP 2 – A greener Europe – EUR 7,135 billion (ERDF) + EUR 1,087 billion (CF)
• OP 3 – A more connected Europe – 2.978 billion euros (ERDF) + 2.24 billion euros (CF)
• OP 4 – A more social and inclusive Europe – 2.674 billion euros (ERDF) + 6.649 (ESF +)
• OP 5 – A Europe closer to the citizens – EUR 0.63 billion (ERDF)
• SO Transition Fair – € 1.766 billion (FTJ)
The Partnership Agreement this new period 2021 – 2027 brings a series of innovations and novelties in regard to the current funding framework.
Probably the most important change is the existence of a Regional Operational Program at the level of each development region. Basically, the Regional Development Agencies acquire the role of Managing Authority, being responsible for the preparation, transmission and negotiation with the European Commission of their Programs. They will also coordinate the launch of funding calls, respectively the evaluation, monitoring and verification of projects and the settlement of payments.
A positive aspect of this change is a better planification and reflection of the regional needs, the Operational Programs being designed starting from the specific needs of each region, with priorities and allocations adapted to the regional needs, on various fields of intervention.
Another novelty is the Operational Health Program, with a multi-fund characteristic, which comes with an integrated approach, using both ESF and ERDF funds. The program identifies seven investment priorities, with a wide area of applicability, from investments for the construction of regional hospitals and new hospital infrastructures with major territorial impact, to rehabilitation, palliation and long-term care services adapted to the demographic phenomenon of population aging and the epidemiological profile of morbidity to digitalization, innovative approaches in medical research and measures that support research, computerization in health and the use of modern methods for investigation, intervention, treatment.
The Large Infrastructure Operational Program will no longer be found as such in the period 2021-2027, being replaced by the Transport Operational Program (for the transport component) and the Sustainable Development Operational Program (for the environment component).
The Intelligent Growth, Digitization and Financial Instruments Operational Program proposes measures in the fields of research, development and innovation / smart specialization and in the field of digitization at the level of central public administration.
The Operational Program Human Capital becomes the Operational Program Education and Employment, and the Operational Program Helping Disadvantaged People becomes the Operational Program Inclusion and Social Development.
In the new programming period, supporting the territories most affected by the transition to climate neutrality and reducing regional disparities will be achieved through the Fair Transition Operational Program, which will fund investments in research and innovation, promote the transfer of advanced technologies and support cooperation between industry and research, economic diversification, employment through retraining or professional reconversion, decontamination of polluted sites and circular economy, clean energy by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and energy from renewable sources and digitization, transport green, electric vehicle charging infrastructure and investments in supporting the transition from coal to gas.
The Technical Assistance Operational Program continues in the new programming period, while the Administrative Capacity Operational Program no longer continued in its former structure.
In the next period, we intend to analyze the new programs and to present the main areas of funding intervention and other relevant information.