Corina Cretu: Romania can contribute to EU foreign assistance projects

Romania has the obligation to allocate, up to 2010, a percentage of 0.17 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the European Union in order to participate in the implementation of the international development cooperation policy.
Participants in the national conference entitled "International cooperation for development – an opportunity for Romania as an EU member state", organized on April 17, in Bucharest, underlined that Romania, as a newly integrated EU member state, has to assume the role of an international donor concurrently with its European accession, on January 1, 2007.
At present, Romania’s contribution to the EU is of 0.07 percent.
"I think we are in the incipient stage as regards this international assistance contribution. Romania should understand that it has become donor country from a recipient one. I think we can contribute to the international humanitarian assistance and to the foreign assistance projects of the Union", stated Corina Cretu, Euro-parliamentarian and representative of the EP Committee on Development.

The director of the Office for foreign relations and development assistance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cosmin Dobran, said that the development assistance is a pledge assumed by Romania ever since 2004.
"Following discussions started in 2004 and continued in 2005-2006, we have the legislation in this field, having adopted a Government Decision which establishes Romania’s general strategy, principles and the geographical zones, where assistance is to be focused on. MAE is to also benefit of budgetary allocations for development cooperation. Romania has the obligation to contribute to the fulfillment of the respective objectives, as an EU member", said Dobran, adding that, starting with 2011, Romania will participate with funds to the aid programmes.
Cosmin Dobran stressed that Romania is mainly focused on the neighborhood zones, in East and West Balkans, where the problems are similar.
"For Romania, priorities are concentrated on providing assistance to the Republic of Moldova, Georgia and Serbia, selected as priority states from the prospect of political and economic considerations. As well, Iraq and Afghanistan are states we are focused on and, currently, Romania has a military contribution and a less a civil one, but from this year we will also develop some civil projects in the zone, Dobran also said.
Attending this national conference there were representatives of the International Save the Children Alliance, Foundation for the Development of a Civil Society, Foreign Ministry, United Nations and central public authorities in Romania.
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