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Norwegian Embassy: 306 million EUR will be transferred to Romania in the form of non-refundable financial assistance up until 2016

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Oeystein_HovdkinnThe Norwegian ambassador, Mr. Øystein Hovdkinn, had a meeting today (february 22) with the Minister of Justice, Mrs. Mona Maria Pivniceru, to discuss the Norwegian assistance to Romania provided through the Norway Grants.

For the period up until 2016, an amount of about 306 million EUR will be transferred to Romania in the form of non-refundable financial assistance to programs and projects in various sectors, i.a. environmental protection, cultural heritage, justice and civil society. Approximately 25 million EUR will be allocated to the justice and home affairs sector.  Programs within this sector will be launched later this year.

According to the agreed institutional setup, the Ministry of Justice will be the Program Operator for most of the funds within the justice and home affairs sector. These funds will be used i.a. to support Romanian judiciary for implementation of the New Judicial Codes, to improve standards in the Romanian prisons and probation services, to combat domestic violence, organized crime and human trafficking.

During the discussions, Ambassador Hovdkinn also touched upon the high absorption rate of 85 % in the previous funding period. Up until 2011, Romania benefited from about 100 million EUR in project assistance in key sectors such as environmental protection, sustainable production, health and childcare, cultural heritage, and the NGO sector. The Norwegian official also conveyed the feedback received from beneficiaries of the funds, namely that they were user friendly, flexible, and easily accessible.

The minister of justice, Mrs. Mona Pivniceru, thanked the Ambassador for the steady support of the Norwegian Government in financing strategic projects for the Romanian judiciary in the context of enforcement of the New Judicial Codes as well as other key areas pertaining to justice and home affairs sector.

Through the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement, the three EFTA countries – Norway, Island and Liechtenstein – take part in the European internal market and contribute to social and economic development through the EEA and Norway Grants. Norway is the main donor, contributing 97% of the total funding. The EEA and Norway Grants are also intended to strengthen bilateral relations  between Norway and Romania.

Foto: norvegia.ro

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MEP Vasile Blaga supports a fair green transition for Romania: Gas and nuclear energy must be considered transitory

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© Vasile Blaga / Facebook

MEP Vasile Blaga (PNL, EPP) reaffirms his support for a fair green transition for Romania, in which gas and nuclear energy are accepted in order to achieve the objectives set by the European Ecological Pact.

The European Parliament hosted yesterday, 30 May, a public hearing whose guests were several experts who debated, together with members of the two committees ECON and ENVI, the inclusion of gas and nuclear energy in the taxonomy of the European Union. Many of the opinions expressed push the debate towards a rejection of the European Commission’s proposal of March whereby nuclear energy and gas are considered, under certain conditions, green.

I reaffirm my support for the version proposed by the European Commission. There are many reasons why gas and nuclear energy should be considered transitional in order to achieve the objectives set by the European Green Pact. One of the reasons, and perhaps the most important one, relates to the realities on the ground in each Member State. France has a significant share of nuclear power, just as Germany is heavily dependent on gas. The decisions that the European Union needs to implement in order to achieve the objectives – already set and agreed by all Member States – need to be balanced first and foremost”, EPP MEP Vasile Blaga told European Way.

“Countries like Romania or Poland need a realistic transition towards the targets set by the Green Pact. Cohesion and solidarity in the European Union means that each Member State must take into account the other and, as a whole, decisions must not ignore any reality, be it further West or further East”, added the EPP MEP.

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MEP Vasile Blaga: “New sanctions package against Russia is a strong sign of EU solidarity with Ukraine”

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MEP Vasile Blaga (PNL, EPP) welcomes the agreement reached by EU leaders on the latest sanctions package against Russia.

“The progressive embargo agreed yesterday evening by the European Council is a consistent step towards blocking the financing of the war unleashed by the Russian Federation in Ukraine. The sanctions will initially target 75% of imports of crude oil and petroleum products, rising to 90% by the end of the year”, the MEP told caleaeuropeana.ro.

According to the liberal MEP, the Council’s decision puts an end to a fundamentally unacceptable situation – condemning Russian aggression in Ukraine while financing it through hydrocarbon imports into the EU: “This is a necessary step in the attempt to force the Russian Federation to stop the absurd war in Ukraine. Of course, there will be voices saying that the 10% represents hesitation, failure or lack of solidarity. I place them squarely in line with those propagating pro-Russian rhetoric. The European Union also has a degree of heterogeneity, especially in terms of the degree to which economies are dependent on Russian hydrocarbons. In this context, blocking 90% of imports at the end of the year is undoubtedly a victory that I welcome”, said EPP MEP Vasile Blaga.

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MEP Vasile Blaga: The most effective weapon against Russia’s blackmail to turn off the gas tap is EU solidarity

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© Vasile Blaga/Facebook

The cut-off of gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria should be the start of the EU finding solutions to disconnect Europe from the Russian Federation, said MEP Vasile Blaga (PNL, EPP).

The MEP stressed that the most effective weapon against Russia’s blackmail to turn off the “gas tap” is EU solidarity.

“A generalised and overnight disconnection of Europe from Russian resources is not realistic, but in the medium and long term it is the only solution. The dependence of large EU economies – such as Germany’s – is a major obstacle to this necessary disconnection, but a united reaction, comparable to that during the pandemic, can provide the solutions to get out of this situation, which is immoral to say the least”, said the liberal MEP for the CaleaEuropeana.ro.

According to the MEP, it is necessary, as a first step, even if only in principle, for all EU Member States to speak “with one voice” on eliminating energy dependence on Russia.

“It is obvious that the European democratic architecture is incompatible with the immoral paradox of financing Russia’s war machine in the context of military aggression against the sovereign state of Ukraine. Then, without delay, we need to take concrete steps that will bring us within a reasonable timeframe closer to this priority objective”, added the EPP MEP.

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