Romanian Minister of Investments and European Projects Cristian Ghinea is set to send the final draft of Romania’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan today to the European Commission for review.
The bloc member is set to receive around $36 billion, split nearly evenly between loans and grants, from the EU’s recovery fund. Initial drafts of the plan outline investments in energy projects, reforming government social programs and on upgrades to transportation infrastructure.
Opponents of Romania’s plan criticize the lackluster effort made to ween the country off of fossil fuels and to expand sustainable energy solutions. The current plan allocates few resources to expanding wind or solar generation capacity but requests $734 million for new natural gas infrastructure. Such investments appear incompatible with the EU’s long-term climate goals. Approving such controversial investments will risk neutering a policy which the European Commission has placed particular significance on, in addition to encouraging noncompliance from heavily polluting nations such as Poland. The next few years will be critical in determining whether states will meet emissions reduction and decarbonization targets by 2030. Expect Brussels to demand additional changes from Bucharest during the two-month review process as it prioritizes long-term climate objectives over short-term economic gains.
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Julian is a Research Analyst for The Daily Brief where he is a regular contributor. As a researcher and writer, Julian specializes in the political economy of East Asia and global macroeconomic developments.