The transition to a green economy needs to be supported by new, additional European funds, distinct from Romania’s allocations from the future EU multiannual budget. This is the line of negotiation adopted by MEP Siegfried Muresan in the inter-institutional debates at the European level for operationalizing the mechanisms of the Global Pact for the Environment.
Siegfried Muresan warns that the transition to a green economy will be a long and very complex process in which the support – the financial one, first of all – that Romania will receive from the European Union will be essential.
Siegfried Muresan, who is also EPP Vice-President, explained on Wednesday „how things are at the moment regarding the financing chapter for Romania” and what he intends to achieve for Romania in the European negotiations:
Investments in the economic development of most affected regions
The European Commission has already proposed a EUR 100 billion Just European Transition Mechanism. It will consist of three pillars.
The first pillar, the Just Transition Fund, will allocate money to lessen the negative impact on the European regions that will be most affected, as in the case of coal mining regions in Romania.
My position is that this money must be invested in the economic development of these regions. We need to support young entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises, which would further create new jobs. We should not go only with old professional retraining programs which, we have all seen, have not had lasting effects in the past. A job retraining that has no demand on the labour market for that new qualification will bring nothing good to people.
Romania has to be among the countries that will receive the largest European non-reimbursable financing through this fund because we are among the European countries and regions that will need the highest financial support during the transition to a green economy. And here I want to be very clear that we are talking about new, additional European funds, distinct from allocations for Romania from the future EU multi-annual budget. I will not accept cuts from European funds for Romanian farmers or for investments in road infrastructure in Romania.
Support for easy access to loans
Also, Romania will have access to European credit lines for the transition to a green economy. These credit lines will be accessible only on the basis of well-drafted projects and programs. Therefore, in order to obtain these loans, we must get technical support from the European Commission, the European Investment Bank and from European experts because Romania has little experience in attracting investment loans through these types of financial instruments.
Financing for gas and nuclear energy production
It will very much matter what energy sources we shall use in the coming years. Essential for Romania – and that I will ask for at the European level – is that projects on gas-based power generation are eligible to be funded from European funds. Gas power generation can help us during the transition to a green economy. This is all the more important for us as Romania has big gas resources. At the same time, the role that nuclear energy plays in achieving climate goals must be recognized at the European level. I will not accept the role of the nuclear energy to be questioned and it is very important to give a signal of support for building the other nuclear reactors in Cernavoda that will contribute to Romania’s power needs in the next period.
I will fight at the European level to ensure full predictability for investments in gas and nuclear power generation. Because major investments in the energy infrastructure need predictability. We must now make it very clear to the energy industry that gas and nuclear power generation can be financed and will not be questioned anymore.