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Sibiu County Council and the platform Advisory Hub organise the Summit for the Simplification of Accessing Structural Funds

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Sibiu County Council and the platform Advisory Hub, with support of the National Union of County Councils (UNCJR), the Association of Municipalities (AM), The Association of Towns (AOR) and the Association of Villages (ACoR) in Romania, in the framework of the Romanian presidency of the Council of Europe, organize the Summit for the Simplification of Accessing Structural Funds. The event will take place in the ASTRA Museum, the same location that hosted the EPP Summit on the 9th May this year. The purpose of the event is to round up the work of the AdvisoryHub experts started in 2015, aiming to simplify the procedures for accessing and implementing structural funds at both European and national level, with a debate on the legislative proposal for simplification measures necessary. 

“European funds are Romania’s chance to make up for the delays in social-economic development and to become competitive at European level. However, although we should be cashing in on this opportunity by now, the poor absorption and inefficient use of the European money is preventing us from making the most of it. The legislative proposal for the simplification of accessing European funds is a solution we would like to launch on the 28th of June from Sibiu” stated Daniela Cîmpean, the President of Sibiu County Council.

The simplification of national rules and regulations related to European structural and investment funds needs to be a top priority for Romania in order to speed up the development of infrastructure, shorten the timeframe between project submission and approval, in order to ensure a timely disbursement of the funding to applicants. Starting with 2014-2020, the EU regulations have laid the basis of simplification, but unfortunately this did not translate into simplified procedures at national level in Romania. On the contrary: the complexity of management and control has increased, and this led to the decrease of the efficiency and impact of structural funds. 

“First of all, simplification needs to be achieved for the beneficiaries in the public and private sectors so that they can focus on the quality of the project implementation and not to be spending excessive time and resources on administrative issues. Secondly, the need for simplification should be understood in the context of a drive for increasing performance, efficiency and impact of European funding. Last but not least, the investment objectives need to be simplified to be in line with the real development needs of the country, of the local communities and the SMEs and microbusiness, combining wherever possible grants with other financial instruments. I would like to thank both Mrs. Daniela Cîmpean, the president of Sibiu County Council for the support and the partnership in organizing this event, but also our partners in the public organizations, the local and private decision makers who have contributed to turning into a legislative proposal the need for simplification of accessing funds in Romania” said Bogdan Rogin, the initiator of the AdvisoryHub platform.

Besides the representatives of  UNCJR, AMR, AOR și ACoR, the event includes as guest speakers the former Ministry for European Affairs in Ireland, Dick Roche (Ireland being the country with the best absorption rate of EU Funds who initiated the simplification procedures, the former president of the well-known global organization PMI (Project Management Institute) Antonio Nieto, the president of the National Council of SMEs Florin Jianu, Dumitru Fornea – member of the European Economic and Social Committee, representatives of the European Bank of Investments, Alexandru Potor – the president of the  Association of Local Action Groups in Romania, Dan Vlădescu – the president of the Authority for Audit and Cătălin Lungu – the vice-president of the Engineers’Association in Romania, as well as other state institutions directly involved in the process.

The key topics debated will be the legislative proposal for simplification of several pieces of legislation, the necessary measures that need to be adopted by management authorities and ministries that administrate European funding,  additional sources of funding at local and county level through financial instruments, as well as a new approach to funding industrial and mining areas in transition. All of these are aimed to initiate the Citizens’ Initiative in support of adopting legislation for simplification as well as to launch the Sibiu Declaration for Simplification.

Considering the complexity of the subject, as well as the diversity of the beneficiaries, Sibiu County Council launches a public call for all those with experience in accessing European funding to contribute with suggestions to the simplification of accessing funds, using an online form available on the website of Sibiu County Council.

Also, questions can be sent to the following link – click hereand they will be raised during the discussion with experts at the Summit on the 28th of June in Sibiu. Further information is available on www.cjsibiu.ro.

Robert Lupițu este redactor-șef, specialist în relații internaționale, jurnalist în afaceri europene și doctorand în domeniul reasigurării strategice a NATO. Robert este laureat al concursului ”Reporter și Blogger European” la categoria Editorial și co-autor al volumelor ”România transatlantică” și ”100 de pași pentru o cetățenie europeană activă”. Face parte din Global Shapers Community, o inițiativă World Economic Forum, și este Young Strategic Leader în cadrul inițiativelor The Aspen Institute. Din 2019, Robert este membru al programului #TT27 Leadership Academy organizat de European Political Strategy Center, think tank-ul Comisiei Europene.

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AmCham: Romania’s capital market upgrade to emerging market status sends a positive signal to investors

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AmCham Romania joins private partners and the authorities in welcoming Romania’s upgrade to secondary market status by FTSE Russell, the world leader in stock market indexes classification. This marks the achievement of a shared strategic goal pursued with dedication by the private stakeholders and regulatory authorities alike.

“AmCham Romania primarily focuses on supporting initiatives that contribute to increasing the investment flows in Romania, such as the upgrade of the capital market. The promotion by FTSE Russell sends a positive signal towards the investors’ community, but is also an encouragement for all parties involved so far in making this goal a reality to continue their collaboration, which remains as necessary after this long-awaited moment. The upgrade to emerging market opens Romania’s access to significantly higher investment flows and allows us to play in a higher league. This comes in a context of global economic turmoil, which can only send a positive signal to current and potential investors and is expected to have a multiplier effect on the economy” said Ionuț Simion, AmCham Romania President. 

Romania’s qualification for secondary emerging market status, after a three-year monitoring period, announced in September 2019 and applicable from September 2020, confirms the removal of barriers and improvements in the quality of trading infrastructure and of the regulatory framework.

“I would like to reiterate that the success we welcome today proves that through partnership and cooperation we can achieve positive results for the economy at large. At the same time, it holds all of us responsible to remain committed towards the immediate objectives for the Romanian capital market, such as upgrade to emerging market status by MSCI. Midterm, in AmCham’s vision, the development of the capital market should focus on meeting the next level of performance needed to qualify as primary emerging market, and eventually, the upgrade to developed market status. In this regard, we will strongly support the need for state-owned enterprises to be listed, which in addition to the benefits of attracting capital inflows, will create the framework for consolidating their corporate governance. The development of the capital market will also need measures to incentivize the listing of private companies, as a means to diversify their financing sources, which requires both vision and a favorable, stable legislative and fiscal framework, for which we rely on the involvement of the responsible authorities”, pointed Cristian Agalopol, Chair of the AmCham Romania Capital Markets and Financial Services Committee.

FTSE Russel performs an annual review of the countries’ classification in the four categories – developed markets, advanced emerging, secondary emerging and frontier, by analyzing 21 criteria that are related to the regulative framework, custody and settlement, dealing landscape, derivatives.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Romania (AmCham Romania) is for over 25 years a leading representative of the business community in Romania, and is acknowledged as a promoter of the private-public dialogue on matters related to the business climate, public policies that impact Romania’s economy and competitiveness or the economic ties between Romania and the U.S.

Currently, AmCham Romania’s over 450 members – U.S., international and Romanian companies allow AmCham to engage in promoting the business priorities for many industries, through dedicated working groups, such as: Capital Markets & Financial Services, Corporate Governance, Competition and State-Aid, Education, Energy, Environment, Health, Digital Economy, Labor, Structural Funds, Public Procurement and PPP, Real Estate, Taxation and Tourism.

AmCham Romania’s connection with the international business is granted by its accreditation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its affiliation to AmChams in Europe. In Romania, AmCham enjoys a great institutional collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest and is a member and contributor to Coaliţia pentru Dezvoltarea României, the informal consultation platform supported by business associations that share the same objectives.

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Presidents of Romania, Lithuania and Poland: We state our will to support the people of Belarus in building a democratic path

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© Administrația Prezidențială

The President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, the President of Lithuania, Gitanas Nauseda, and the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, state their will, in a joint statement, to support the people of Belarus in building a democratic path and appeal to the international community to join the EU and its member states in the demarche of preparing a positive agenda for Belarus, together with a package of support for the political, economic and social transition of the country.

“We, the Presidents of Lithuania, Poland and Romania, as member states of the European Union: supporting firmly liberty and the promotion of democratic principles, emphasizing that free, fair and transparent elections are a fundamental democratic right of any nation, admitting as legitimate the results of the elections only if they are organized in agreement with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and are monitored internationally, explicitly admitting that no one but the people of Belarus has the right to decide the destiny of their country, reassuring on our respect for such a decision made on legitimate bases, understanding that a prosperous Belarus, built on social trust and a common vision, is essential for a more stable and safer Europe, we declare our will to support the people of Belarus in building a democratic path, through a state leadership which is democratically elected, a free civil society, free market and the rule of law,” shows the statement of the three heads of states.

The joint statement titled “Proposal for a democratic Belarus” is available here.

The three heads of state show that they offer expertise and know-how for the path of political and economic reforms, to build independent institutions and to ensure an environment where respect for human rights and freedom of expression are an unshakeable fundamental norm of society.

They believe that, in the demarche to support the people of Belarus, it’s useful for the European Union – as a major global economic power – propose a package of assistance for the economic transformation of a democratic Belarus which should include, inter alia: the facilitation of commerce with the European Union and assistance for accession negotiations with the World Trade Organization; a liberalized visa regime, when the necessary conditions are met; assistance to diversify the energy sector and for the energy security of Belarus; access to financial resources to restructure and relaunch the liberal economy of Belarus; increased presence and activity of the international financial institutions to reform the economy of Belarus and to increase investment.

“We address an appeal to the international community to join the European Union and its member states in the demarche of preparing a positive agenda for Belarus, together with a package of support for the political, economic and social transition of the country”, the three presidents concluded.

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MEP Vasile Blaga: EU must create solid programs in order to rebuild the labor market

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©Vasile Blaga/ Facebook

MEP Vasile Blaga, a member of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, stresses that the European Union must create solid programs for consolidating and rebuilding the labor market after the COVID-19 period.

“Economic data for the second quarter of 2020 show a worrying decline in the labor market across the European Union. In Romania, the number of closed employment contracts has increased alarmingly – we are approaching one million closed employment contracts, and the number of closed contracts on 15 July is double compared to 1st June 2020. The most affected sectors are manufacturing and it is possible that in the next period we will see a massive increase in contracts in the hospital industry, still affected by the restrictions generated by the pandemic “, said the MEP for Calea Europeană media platform.

According to the Liberal MEP, protecting jobs must be the number one priority for the European Union.

“It is clear that the European Union must be massively concerned with protecting existing jobs and financially stimulating the creation of new ones ”, he added.

Private sector employment must also be a priority for the European Commission: “Direct funding through various forms of private sector employment must be a priority for the Commission in the next period, complemented by the stimulation of sectors severely affected by pandemic – the hospitality industry and the arts and entertainment sector are a priority in this regard “, said the EPP MEP Vasile Blaga.

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