EU pours staggering £27bn into Romania while UK divorce bill rises to £42bn

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Europe’s twelfth-largest country joined the bloc back in 2007, along with Bulgaria. Bucharest and Sofia are two of the biggest recipients of the EU’s “cohesion funds”, which are allocated to the bloc’s poorest countries.

Nations which have a gross national income per capita less than 90 percent of the combined average across the EU receive the additional funds “to strengthen the economic, social and territorial cohesion of the EU”.

More than 40 percent of the country’s population live in rural areas, with many relying on the land they cultivate for food sources.

There have been calls for significant investment in Romania’s infrastructure, including potable water systems.

This comes after the UK Government said the Brexit divorce bill footed by the UK could rise to £42.5bn.

Original estimates for payments of costs incurred by the UK leaving the bloc in January 2020 stood in the range of 35bn to 39bn.

But in July last year, Prime Minister Boris Johnson rejected EU estimates of a £40.8bn total cost.

On Monday, the EU Commission announced that Romania was set to receive €31.5 billion from these funds between 2021 and 2027.

Of this huge total, €4.33 billion will flow from the EU’s European Regional and Development Fund to Romania’s small and medium-sized businesses, as well as the likes of academia and research.

A further €6.75 billion will be poured into Romania’s “green transition”, looking at conservation, green energy production and slashing carbon emissions.

Another €2.3 billion will go towards the country’s health service, and €7.2 billion is earmarked for improving transportation.

A chunk of the allocation comes from the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund, looking at more sustainable fishing practices.

The Commission said €162.5 million will look to conserve ecosystems in the Black Sea.

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The EU’s Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries described the money as destined for “innovative projects” of “sustainable management”.

Virginijus Sinkevičius added: “The Partnership Agreement will allow Romania to build innovative, low-carbon and sustainable fisheries, aquaculture and processing sectors while also reinforcing the economic and social vitality of coastal communities.

“It will also support the resilience of the sectors faced with exceptional events that lead to serious disruption of markets.”

Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, described the measures as ensuring “no one is left behind”.

She said: “The Cohesion Policy investments will address areas of key concern for Romanians.

“A good planning and implementation of the Programmes that are being finalised will help the development of innovation and digitalisation, the deployment of quality health and social services, as well as education and training opportunities, safe and clean transports and overall, a more competitive economy.

“Cohesion Policy funding will improve the quality of life in Romania and ensure that no one is left behind.”

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