Romania - Republic Moldova Interreg NEXT Program launched, EU to allocate €77m

The cooperation between the Republic of Moldova and Romania will be strengthened further thanks to a new support program that was launched on Wednesday in Iasi by the Managing Authority and the Common Secretariat of the Romania - Republic Moldova Interreg NEXT Program. The EU’s allocation is €77 million, while the own contribution will represent 10%. The money could be used for healthcare, education, natural disaster prevention, biodiversity conservation and interinstitutional cooperation, IPN reports.

In the event, Romanian Minister for Development, Public Works and Administration Cseke Attila said that the new program is an important signal for the two countries. “It is an important moment for the relationship between Romania and the Republic of Moldova. It is a program implemented with the EU’s support and with co-financing of the partner states. It is the third program of this kind for Romania. The funds secured through this program will bring considerable changes both for Romania and for the whole territory of the Republic of Moldova and we should profit from this opportunity and access all the money,” stated Cseke Attila.

Veronica Sirețeanu, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Moldova, in the same event said that the advantages of the new project should be taken to the maximum. “We have to learn a lot from this cooperation. The first project was very successful. We have a nice precedent and must use this opportunity. We are fully ready to contribute to the achievement of all the objectives of this program,” stated Veronica Sirețeanu.

The head of the Iasi County Council Costel Alexe voiced hope that the two Romanian states will manage to implement projects of a higher quality and within reasonable timeframes as part of the program. “Development will come only when we manage to solve the problem of road infrastructure. On May 10, 2023, there was signed the contract of financing for the bridge in Ungheni and we are hopeful that the Government in Chisinau will do its best for Iasi to be tied to Chisinau and then to Odessa. Iasi will become a real pole of development not only for Romania, but also for the whole Eastern Europe. Romania is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe and I started to realize that we are not as poor as we believe, but we lack prioritization and bureaucracy impedes us,” stated Costel Alexe.

Dragoș Drăghescu, coordinator of the Romania - Republic Moldova Interreg NEXT Program from the Ministry for Development, Public Works and Administration of Romania, said that unlike the previous periods, the funds that will not be spend on time will be lost. “My call to those who work out financing projects is to be well-prepared and propose mature projects that can be implemented,” noted Dragoș Drăghescu.

Secretary of state of the Ministry of Fiancé of the Republic of Moldova Ion Gumene said that this program is not a classical transboundary program, but implies interhuman relations. “We bank on Romania’s support and experience in overcoming the faced challenges and in maximally using the allocated funds. The villages and regions of the Republic of Moldova develop especially due to these projects,” stated Ion Gumene.

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