The futility of EU funding
in Romania and the European Union
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This chapter investigates the European Union (EU) aid assistance programmes which meant to drive forward the modernisation of the country so that it could compete effectively with existing members upon joining the Union. The Commission and the Delegation both found it difficult to keep track of Phare projects. The largest Phare project was the Enterprise Restructuring and Professional Conversion Programme (RICOP) scheme. The RICOP project appeared not to be part of a wider development strategy and seemed concerned with overcoming specific short-term problems that threatened to delay progress with meeting the accession terms. The EU often struggled to obtain reliable information on the implementation and impact of its programmes. Romania had a limited capacity to manage EU funds, which would not increase significantly as the years rolled on, and risked losing much of the pre-accession funding allocated to it due to its inability to devise feasible projects.

Romania and the European Union

How the weak vanquished the strong

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