Romania - EU

Accession Assistance

The financial assistance granted by the European Union to Romania during the period 1992-1999 amounted to approximately 1.2 billion euro. In order to achieve the objectives set up in the pre-accession strategy and to meet the needs of applicant countries, the European Council of Berlin has decided to double the financial aid from the year 2000 and to create other specific instruments: the structural and agricultural pre-accession instruments.

During 2000-2003 Romania received approximately 660 million euro per year, through the three pre-accession instruments: PHARE, ISPA and SAPARD.

Following the proposal of the European Commission to considerably increase the aid for the candidate countries, from 2004, in order to support them in taking the remaining steps necessary to meet the criteria for membership, Romania will receive supplementary funds for 2004-2006 of up to 40% increase in 2006 (around 2.8 billion euro). 


PHARE remains the main instrument of assistance, focusing on two main priorities: institution building (strengthening the administrative and institutional capacity) and investment support (financing of investment to bring firms and infrastructure into line with the European standards). Its role continuously increased, aiming at supporting the preparation for the EU accession, through concrete measures having as objective the fulfilment of the Copenhagen criteria.

PHARE provides structural assistance at the regional level (institution building and investments in Economic and Social Cohesion) and finances measures in the field of cross-border cooperation and nuclear safety. During the period 2000-2003 Romania benefited of more than 1 billion euro PHARE funds allocated through national programmes, cross border cooperation programmes, and projects in the field of nuclear safety.

The National Programmes reflect the following priorities: fulfilment of political and economic criteria, strengthening administrative capacity, meeting the obligations of the acquis, achieving the economic and social cohesion.

For the period 2004-2006, following a multi-annual strategic approach, the National Programme includes a multi-annual component consisting in sector programmes for key sectors (Public Administration, Public Finance, Agriculture, Environment, Justice, Border Management, Minorities, Economic and Social Cohesion) designed based on sector strategies, with annual project fiches, and an annual component covering various specific needs related to the implementation of the acquis communautaire.

The Cross Border Cooperation (CBC) Programmes finance projects aiming at developing the cooperation across the borders. CBC programmes are developed with Bulgaria and Hungary, based on priorities established in the Joint Programming Documents for each border. For 2004-2006, in the framework of Wider Europe initiative, PHARE finances Neighbourhood Programmes of Romania with Republic of Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, and Ukraine.

Under PHARE financing, Romania benefits of specific programmes, such as in the field of nuclear safety, and of multi-beneficiary programmes/actions (Information and Communication Programme, Environment and Enlargement Programme, Small Projects Programme, Statistical Cooperation Programme, Municipal Finance Facility, SME Finance Facility, SIGMA, TAIEX, Anti-Fraud programme for the protection of the financial interests of the Community).

For 2004, Romania received 405.3 million euro through Phare National Programme.

PHARE funds are allocated also to cover part of the financial contribution paid by Romania for the participation in Community programmes and agencies. Romania is member of the Environment European Agency and participates in the following Community programmes, Enterprise & SMEs (2001-2005), Combating discrimination (2001-2006), Gender equality (2001-2005), Combating social exclusion (2001-2005), Incentive measures in the field of employment (2001-2005), LIFE III (2005-2006), Civil Protection Mechanism (2002-2007), Environmental protection NGOs (2002-2006), 6th EC Framework Programme on R&D (2002-2006), 6th Euratom Framework Programme on R&D (2002-2006), eContent (2001-2005), Fiscalis 2003-2007, Customs 2007, Leonardo da Vinci II (2000-2006), Socrates II (2000-2006), Youth (2000-2006), Culture 2000 (2005-2006), Community action in the field of public health (2003-2008), Intelligent Energy – Europe (2003-2006), Community actions in support of consumer policy (2004-2007), Community programme to promote active European citizenship (civic participation). Romania expressed also the interest to participate in the Community Programme IDABC (2005-2009) in the field of interoperable delivering of pan-European e-government services for administrations, businesses and citizens.

ISPA (Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession)

ISPA is based on Council Regulation (EC) no.1267/1999 of 21 June 1999. The financing is focusing on the following priorities:

  • Rehabilitation of environment infrastructure (upgrading the water supply, sewerage and wastewater treatment systems, management of waste in urban areas);
  • Improvement and upgrading the transport infrastructure (modernisation of national roads, rehabilitation and upgrading railway sections, etc.).

During 2000-2006, Romania benefits of ISPA funding amounting to approximate 240 million euro per year. As a pre-requisite in ensuring a dynamic implementation of ISPA in Romania, it was the set up the ISPA Monitoring Committee, having the role to analyse the status of the projects and evaluate the institutional capacity for project implementation and design.

SAPARD (Special Accession Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development)

SAPARD is based on Council Regulation (EC) no.1268/99 of 21 June 1999, having as objective to establish a Community framework for supporting sustainable and rural development in candidate countries, to solve problems affecting the long term adjustment of the agricultural sector and rural areas, to help implement the Community acquis in matters of the common agricultural policy and related policies.

Romania"s National Plan for Agriculture and Rural Development 2000-2006 (NPARD), the basis for the implementation of the SAPARD in Romania, was approved in December 2000. It provides for a total amount of more than 2 billion euro (public and private expenditure), out of which 1,113.4 million euro EU contribution (revised version, august 2003).

To achieve the objectives of NPARD, the strategy for SAPARD takes into consideration the measures and priorities described in the Council Regulation no.1268/1999 (Art.2 and Art.4.3). Out of the 15 eligible measures, Romania has chosen 11, regrouped in the four priorities, as follows:

  • Improving the access to markets and of the competitiveness of agricultural processed products

Measures: processing and marketing of agricultural and fisheries products; improving the structures for quality, veterinary, and plant-health controls, foodstuffs and consumer protection;

  • Improving infrastructures for rural development and agriculture

Measures: development and improvement of rural infrastructure; management of water resources for agriculture;

  • Development of rural economy

Measures: investments in agricultural holdings; setting-up producer groups; agri-environmental measures; development and diversification of economic activities, multiple activities, alternative income; forestry;

  • Development of human resources

Measures: improving of the vocational training; technical assistance.

The Multi-Annual Financing Agreement (MAFA) was signed on 2 February 2001 and defines the conditions regarding the financial and technical management and the administrative framework for the programme.

The European Commission issued the decisions conferring management of aid on implementing agencies for pre-accession measures in agriculture and rural development Romania in the pre-accession period. Legal and institutional measures have been promoted, which allow the creation and consolidation of administrative framework for the implementation of SAPARD in Romania. The SAPARD Agency, public institution subordinated to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development, is responsible with the technical and financial implementation of the programme.

The Ministry of Public Finances is the coordinator of the pre-accession assistance granted to Romania by the European Union:







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