The European Commission has decided to freeze 53 million euros in recovery funds for Romania due to the country's failure to fulfill two intermediate stages related to the energy sector.
This was reported by Euractiv.
After receiving the first payment of €6.3 billion out of a total of €30 billion in loans and grants that Bucharest is to receive as part of the EU's recovery plan, Romania requested a second payment of €2.8 billion based on 49 milestones and two targets.
But the European Commission announced on Tuesday that two of the milestones related to energy investments had not been met by Romania. As a result, the Commission froze funds worth €53.36 million and gave Romania six months to fulfill the remaining two milestones.
Following the announcement, Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu said that the country would fulfill the necessary requirements "at an accelerated pace." He added that the priority now is to fulfill the milestones related to the next third payment request.
"On Wednesday, we will take another step by voting in parliament on the draft law on the reform of special pensions," Călacu said, adding that this summer's reforms take precedence over vacations for civil servants.
Among the reforms Romania must implement to get the green light for the third payment request is the reform of special pensions.
As a first step towards unlocking EU funds, Romanian lawmakers voted to abolish special pensions on Monday and are set to vote on the reform draft on Wednesday.
Previous attempts by the Romanian authorities to abolish these pensions were declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court.
Author - Olena Madiak, 28/06/2023