Fact Check: Romanian State Did NOT Lose 2 Billion Euros Because Politicians Didn't Give Up Their Special Pensions

Fact Check

  • by: Ioana Burtea
Fact Check: Romanian State Did NOT Lose 2 Billion Euros Because Politicians Didn't Give Up Their Special Pensions Not Wasted

Was Romania deprived of 2 billion Euros from the National Plan for Resilience and Recovery (PNRR) due to officials' reluctance to give up their special pensions? No, that's not true: The PNRR funds are entirely unrelated to the pension system. Romania did not miss out on the funds; it became ineligible to receive them from the EU due to unforeseen economic growth in the country.

The claim originated from a video (archived here) published on TikTok by @iondragoshoreabarezerva on September 12, 2023, with the description:

2 billion lost. The poor continue to defend the traitors.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-09-15 at 14.05.34.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Fri Sep 15 10:58:09 2023 UTC)

In April 2023, the Minister of Investments clarified that Romania would receive 2.1 billion Euros less from the National Plan for Recovery and Resilience (PNRR) in 2023. Contrary to the notion of the funds being "lost," this reduction is a result of Romania's unforeseen economic growth, rendering it ineligible for the originally allocated amount according to EU entitlement rules. While the TikTok user presents this information as recent news, the media began covering this story in March 2023.

According to EU regulations concerning the Recovery and Resilience Facility, which entered into force in February 2021, the money received by each state is meant for reforms and investments made from the start of the pandemic in February 2020 until 31 December 2026. "To benefit from support under the Facility, EU governments have submitted national recovery and resilience plans, outlining the reforms and investments they will implement by end-2026, with clear milestones and targets," the European Commission outlined.

In Romania's case, the formula for allocating funds was determined by population, unemployment rate and GDP per capita, Economedia explained. The growth of the national GDP led to a revision of the funds for Romania. This has nothing to do with the pension system or officials' unwillingness to modify it.

In addition, the PNRR is not the only method to infuse money into reforms and it is expected that Romania's GDP growth will make up for the billions no longer attributed to the Plan.

  Ioana Burtea

Ioana Burtea has worked in journalism for 15 years. She started her career at Mediafax news agency in Bucharest and has written for DoR magazine for over seven years. Her collaborations include publications like Europe & Me, New Eastern Europe, Balkan Insight and Washington Post. Ioana published pieces on the justice system in Romania, social affairs, politics and personal essays. In 2018,  she became a fellow of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.  In 2021, she received the first prize in the Portrait category at the national Superscrieri journalism awards.

Read more about or contact Ioana Burtea

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