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Romania is not yet ready for EU funds

Int’l Relations

DZ Consulting, a company that has offered financial consulting for deals worth over €2 billion on the Romanian market, closed a partnership this year with Belgian company Euro Keys, for consultancy on structural funds.

„There is a lot of money in Brussels, but Romania is not ready to receive it yet. We are talking about tens of billions of euros earmarked for various fields. However, the waiting period between the time when the documentation is submitted until the money reaches the account is very long,” says Nicolas Duiliu Zamfirescu, president and owner of DZ Consulting, explaining the reason behind the partnership with the Belgian company. Moreover, he says that if the company started a project to attract structural funds right now, the money would be received as late as 2009, due to the procedures and formalities entailed by the process. „The money is there, but it is very hard to get,” he adds, in reference to the structural funds allocated to Romania. The Romanian Minister of Economy and Finance, Varujan Vosganian, said recently that Romania would be a net beneficiary of European funds this year, and would receive €1.5 billion in structural funds, pre-accession funds, and Schengen facility funds, and contribute €1.1 billion to the budget of the European Union.

Euro Keys is a consulting company specializing in European affairs, accredited as a lobbyist by the European Parliament. Therefore, the Belgian firm will handle the regulatory side and DZ Consulting will be responsible for attracting both domestic and foreign clients established in Romania. „If one gets involved in such a project locally, without knowing the rules that apply in Brussels, the chances of getting the funds are rather poor,” adds Zamfirescu, a businessman with a very discrete presence on the market. He adds that this strategic move is explained by the fact that „Romania’s entry into the EU is more important than is currently apparent.” The company, since it was established in 1993, has provided financial consultancy for over 100 deals worth around €2 billion in total, with half of the value accounted for by greenfield projects, and the other half by mergers and acquisitions. (zf.ro)

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