#CoR: €300 million laser project shows how EU funds and partnership can drive regional development

| February 24, 2016 | 0 Comments

Markku Markkula

The President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), Markku
Markkula, has hailed a 300 € million EU-funded laser project in Romania
arguing that it demonstrates how EU investment and working in
partnership can stir innovation and regional development.

Accompanied by Romania’s Minister of National Education and Scientific
Research, Adrian Curaj, and Minister of European Funds, Aura Carmen
Răducu, President Markkula visited the ‘Extreme Light
Infrastructure cross-border project‘ which is
hoped will eventually create the most powerful lasers in the world.
President Markkula commented, “By working in tandem, central and local
governments, universities and the business sector can lead cutting
edge science. Smart specialisation can positively impact urban and
rural development by investing EU structural funds in innovation.”

During the one day trip to Bucharest, President Markkula also spoke
alongside Romania’s Prime Minister, Dacian
Cioloș, at a conference
organised by the Association of Romanian
Communes. At the event both Emil Drăghici, the
Association’s President, and Alin Nica, Head of the CoR’s Romania
Delegation, stressed that rural areas had an important role for growth
and increasing the quality of life in Romania. President Markkula
supported this stating, “It is positive to see the work being done in
Romania to tackle the rural-urban divide by promoting regionalisation
and making the most of EU funding. We need to speed-up investment by
simplifying the EU’s cohesion policy, improve local administrations’
capacity building and adjust public procurement rules”

President Markkula also welcomed Romania’s efforts to support
regionalisation during his bilateral meeting with Deputy Prime
Minister, Vasile Dîncu, who was ready to use the CoR’s knowledge to
promote devolution and regionalisation in Romania. The Deputy Prime
Minister commented, “Promoting regionalisation and supporting local
governance is a major objective which is why we very much welcome the
CoR’s opinions. The Romanian government is making every effort to
tackle bottlenecks, cut red tape, modernise public administrations and
make EU investment support the most underdeveloped regions”

The European Committee of the Regions

The European Committee of the Regions is the EU’s assembly of regional
and local representatives from all 28 member states. Created in 1994
following the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, its mission is to
involve regional and local authorities in the EU’s decision-making
process and to inform them about EU policies. The European Parliament,
the Council and the European Commission consult the Committee in
policy areas affecting regions and cities. To sit on the European
Committee of the Regions, all of its 350 members and 350 alternates
must either hold an electoral mandate or be politically accountable to
an elected assembly in their home regions and cities.

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Category: A Frontpage, Committee of the Regions (CoR), EU, Politics, Romania

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