The reshuffle of the Romanian government is affecting the institutional bodies that are coordinating the European structural funds and might influence the negotiations with the European Commission on the Operational Programmes.

There is a high degree of uncertainty regarding the top management and the head offices of the seven Operational Programmes following the changes within the structure of the coordinating ministries.

The changes might affect the Management Authorities (MA) of the Programmes that activate within the coordinating ministries, but also the intermediate bodies that deal with fund applicants.

The restructuring of the government will affect the negotiations with the European Commission as Romania’s part should be politically represented and strongly supported by the ministries and state secretaries, which is not possible at this moment, analyst Dragos Pislaru, General Manager of GEA Strategy and Consulting said.

The Competitiveness Operational Programme encounters some problems as the Management Authority shifts from the former Ministry of Economy to the new Ministry of Economy and Finances. The National Agency of the Small and Medium Enterprises, an interim organism within this program is to be under the coordination of the new Ministry of SMEs, Commerce, Tourism and Liberal Professions.

It is foreseen that the MA of the Regional Operational Programme (ROP) will stay with the former Ministry of Integration, in its head office. However, the National Authority for Tourism that is comprised within the Regional Operational Programme will no longer be coordinated by the Transportation ministry but by the Ministry of SMEs, Commerce, Tourism and Liberal Professions.

The head offices of the Transportation and Environment Programmes remain the same as the coordinating ministries have not suffered major structural changes and will keep their addresses.

The Human Resources Development Programme, together with the 13 intermediate bodies, stays with the Ministry of Labor, Family and Equality of Chances.

At the regional level, however, the situation is more stable as the authorities that are directly dealing with the beneficiaries will not suffer any changes. This is the case of the National Agency of the Small and Medium Enterprises and of the Agencies of Regional Development.

Things are expected to settle down within the coming week. The political changes should not affect the management personnel of these authorities as their positions have been obtained following a job competition.