凝聚政策的金融工具1957年罗马条约的签订促进了欧洲经济共同体（EEC）的建立。在序言和罗马条约第2条指出，有必要加强各成员国的经济统一，“减少各地区和有利于地区的落后的分歧”，突出指出要促进经济活动的“和谐发展“（罗马条约，1957年）。然而，对于这些承诺的注意力是最小的，直到1975年在欧洲地区发展创造了第一个结构基金——发展基金（ERDF）。由ERDF的方式分配财政资源的目的是要促进结构与区域发展，来准备成员国经济和货币在那一刻联盟（八坼，1998年，第31-32页;曼泽拉和门德斯，2009年，页5-8）。在1989-1993年期间推出的凝聚政策是发展过程的一个重要里程碑。三个新会员国（希腊，西班牙和葡萄牙）的加入大大拓宽了社区内的地区差异，并促进了显著改革。建立单一市场跨社区的决定是改革（八坼，1998年，第67-68页）的主要驱动力。除了单一市场，在“经济和社会凝聚力”的新头衔更综合社区的区域发展政策，在1986年的单一欧洲法案正式讨论（曼泽拉和门德斯，2009年，第14页）。Financial Instruments Of The 2007 2013 Cohesion Policy Economics EssayThe Treaty of Rome of 1957 led to the establishment of the European Economic Community (EEC). In the Preamble and Article 2 of the Treaty of Rome, the need to strengthen the economic unity of Member States by “reducing the differences existing between the various regions and the backwardness of the less favoured regions” by promoting a “harmonious development of economic activities” was highlighted (Treaty of Rome, 1957). However, the attention devoted to those commitments was minimal until the creation of the first Structural Fund for regional development in 1975, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The financial resources allocated by means of the ERDF were intended to facilitate structural and regional development in order to prepare the Member States at that moment for the Economic and Monetary Union (Bache, 1998, pp. 31-32; Manzella & Mendez, 2009, pp. 5-8).The 1989-1993 period constituted a key milestone in the development of the Cohesion Policy. The accession of three new Member States (Greece, Spain and Portugal) considerably widened the regional disparities within the Community and led to a significant reform. The decision to establish the Single Market across the Community was the main driver of the reform (Bache, 1998, pp. 67-68). In addition to the Single Market, a more integrated Community regional development policy under the new title of “economic and social cohesion” was officially addressed in the Single European Act of 1986 (Manzella & Mendez, 2009, p. 14).One aim of the reform was to integrate the three existing Structural Funds under the umbrella of the new Cohesion Policy. With regard to the 1994-1999 programming period, no radical changes in the structure and principles of the Cohesion Policy took place. Nevertheless, the Treaty on the European Union signed in Maastricht in 1992 constituted a new step in the policy development. Within the context of the adoption of the Economic and Monetary Union and the completion of the Single Market, “economic and social cohesion” was promoted as one of the key EU objectives. Furthermore, in addition to the three Structural Funds (ESF, EAGGF, and ERDF), another financial instrument was created. The Cohesion Fund was designated to co-finance environment and transport infrastructure projects in less-developed regions that had a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of less the 90% of the EU average. These regions were primarily in Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Ireland. The great attention devoted to the Structural and Cohesion Funds involved a substantial increase of 50% of the annual financial resources for the period (one third of the total EU budget). Another important component in the development of the Cohesion Policy was the establishment of the Committee of Regions in order to encourage regional authorities to participate in the policy-making decision process of the EU (European Commission, 2008, pp. 14-16; Manzella & Mendez, 2009, pp. 15-16).Among other reforms, the 2000-2006 period was marked by changes in the design and procedures of the EU Cohesion Policy. These changes included: (a) a greater concentration of the financial assistance by reducing the number of policy objectives, (b) a stronger participation of Member States in the design and management of programmes, (c) a simplification of the policy implementation process, and (d) a financial control requirement reinforced by binding monitoring and reporting (Manzella & Mendez, 2009, pp. 16-17). Another highlight of the period was the accession of 10 new Member States with different levels of economic development to the EU in May 2004. This enlargement of the EU extensively increased regional disparities, especially in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It resulted in “a 20% increase in the EU’s population, but only a 5% increase in the Union’s GDP” (European Commission, 2008, p. 18). In addition to this, difficult macroeconomic conditions such as the introduction of the Euro and concern regarding growing unemployment had a tremendous impact on the budget allocation for the 2000-2006 period. The budget share remained constant and was distributed as follows: for the old 15 EU Member States the financial resources totaled up to €213 billion, while for the 10 new entrants it represented €22 billion (European Commission, 2008, p. 18; Manzella & Mendez, 2009, p. 16).The most far-reaching reform of the EU Cohesion Policy was adopted in the current 2007-2013 period. The accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the EU in 2007 amplified the already existent regional disparities. This increase in the number of EU Member States was reflected by a financial boost. Therefore, the financial allocation designated to implement the Cohesion Policy’s major objectives was increased considerably. With regard to the Cohesion Policy objectives, the increased financial allocation was closely linked to the objectives of competitiveness, economic growth, and employment laid down in the Lisbon Strategy (Manzella & Mendez, 2009, p. 18).To conclude, the EU Cohesion Policy suffered major transformations from the Treaty of Rome in 1957 until the current programming period 2007-2013. However, it is worth mentioning that despite the increased budgetary package and the widened regional gaps triggered by the accession of new Member States, the main goal of the Policy has remained unchanged over the years: narrowing economic and social disparities in less-developed regions across the EU.Objectives and principles of the 2007-2013 EU Cohesion PolicyIn order to conduct an analysis of the EU Cohesion Policy in Romania for the 2007-2013 period, it is necessary to gain an understanding of the core principles and objectives for the management and implementation of the policy’s financial instruments.The European Council (EC) Regulation No. 1083/2006, that governs the EU Cohesion Policy, lays down nine principles for implementing the Structural and Cohesion Funds. Relevant for the further analysis are the following four core principles: (a) programming, (b) partnership, (c) additionality and (d) concentration.The principle of programming was first introduced in the reform of 1988 and refers to a more transparent and coherent design of programmes. In addition, the implementation of EU funds takes place through multi-annual programmes representing an essential shift from the former project-based approach. Important to mention is also the simplified programming process. Under this principle, Member States exert greater influence in designing and managing programmes compared to the previous programming periods. In this regard, they submit a single document for European Commission approval, the so-called Single Programming Document. This document comprises the national development priorities designated for further implementation through branch-specific Operational Programmes (OPs) (Bachtler & Mendez, 2007, p. 547; Pollack, 1995, p. 380).The principle of partnership has been constantly developed since it was officially defined in 1988. This principle aims at improving the efficiency of the Cohesion Policy by extending over time the number of actors involved in the various stages of the programming process. Thus, a close cooperation at different levels (e.g. between the European Commission, national, regional and local authorities and non-state actors) is promoted (Bache, 2008, p. 24). However, Allen (2000) relates the effectiveness in involving sub-national actors rather to “the nature of the constitutional arrangements in a particular member state than [to] the Commission’s partnership arrangements” (Allen, 2005, p. 231).Ultimately, the third objective, the European Territorial Cooperation, objective was designed to strengthen three different types of cooperation: cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation. The goal of the European Territorial Cooperation objective is to provide cooperation in the areas of “research, information technology, environment, accessibility, natural and cultural resources and sustainable urban development” (Molle, 2007, pp. 157-158). Around 2.5% of the total budget for the EU Cohesion Policy 2007-2013 is allocated to this objective with the contribution of the ERDF. The objective is complementary to the other two objectives mentioned in the European Council (EC) Regulation No. 1083/2006 since regions are eligible to receive EU funding under the European Territorial Cooperation objective and under the first two objectives (European Commission, 2007, pp. 20-24).#p#分页标题#e#Financial Instruments of the 2007-2013 EU Cohesion PolicyAccording to the European Council (EC) Regulation No. 1080/2006 governing the EU Cohesion Policy, the relevant financial instruments for the 2007-2013 programming period are the Cohesion Fund and the two Structural Funds: the ERDF and the ESF.  Besides the Cohesion and Structural Funds, there are two more financial instruments: the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). Yet, the latter two will not be discussed in this paper as they are not part of the EU Cohesion Policy budget (Heijman & Koch, 2011, p. 50).Both the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Funds are designed to achieve the Cohesion Policy’s goal. However, they differ regarding implementation and selection criteria. First, the Structural Fund ERDF has increased its focus on addressing regional imbalances since 1957 when it was first established. With a total budget of €201 billion for the 2007-2013 programming period, the ERDF is the largest financial instrument that finances projects under all three objectives of the Cohesion Policy (Heijman & Koch, 2011, pp. 51-52). As laid down in the European Council (EC) Regulation No. 1080/2006 Art. 2-4, the ERDF mainly supports less-developed regions and promotes territorial cooperation. Funding priorities include investments in various areas such as research, innovation, job creation, environment, culture, education, health, and infrastructure.The second Structural Fund is the ESF that was established by the Treaty of Rome. Under both the Convergence and the Regional Competitiveness and Employment objectives, the ESF focuses on social aspects. In particular, it focuses on developing human resources and the improvement of employment opportunities in order to integrate unemployed people into the labor market (Bovis, 2011, p. 95). In line with this, some of the financed initiatives of the ESF are: the investment in human capital through education and training offers, reinforcing the social integration of disadvantages groups to employment, strengthening competitiveness and combating discrimination (EC No. 1081/2006 Art. 2).Third, the Cohesion Fund set up by the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 co-finances large-scale projects concerning the environment and the transportation infrastructure. The co-financing rates total up to 85%. The Member States with a GNI per capita of lower than 90% of the European average are exclusively eligible to receive financial assistance under the Cohesion Fund, not separate regions (Bovis, 2011, pp. 98-100). With a total allocation of €70 billion, the Cohesion Fund finances projects under the Convergence objective. In the 2007-2013 programming period, all new Member States beside Greece, Portugal (on a transitional basis), and Spain are covered by the Cohesion Fund. In total a number of 15 Member States (Heijman & Koch, 2011, p. 52).Another important aspect to consider when elaborating on the financial instruments is the Member States’ performance and their limit on the financial transfer. In order to promote a better financial management in Member States and to ensure an optimal allocation of financial funds to project, the automatic budget de-commitment rule, the so-called “n+2 rule” is applicable in the 2007-2013 programming period. According to the European Council (EC) Regulation No. 1260/1999 Art. 31 (2) that lays down general provisions on the EU funds:“The Commission shall automatically decommit any part of a commitment which has not been settled by the payment on the account or for which it has not received an acceptable payment application […], by the end of the second year following the year of commitment.”With regard to commitments from 2007 to 2010, an extension of time from two to three years has been introduced. For this four-year period (2007-2010), the “n+3 rule” applies to the 12 new Member States (Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia) as well as to Portugal and Greece (European Commission, 2007, p. 36).Several particularities differentiate Romania from the other new EU Member States and increase the significance of the EU Cohesion Policy for Romania. As a former communist country, Romania is among the 27 EU Member States one of the least developed countries. The low level of GDP per capita in Romania reveals that it lags behind in terms of economic development. For instance, in 2005, Romania’s “GDP per capita was 34.8% of the EU-25 average and around 55% of the new Member States average” (Government of Romania, 2007, p. 3). Following the Eurostat Report (2012) on the regional economic development until 2009, six regions in Romania are ranked among the poorest in EU in terms of GDP per capita. Thus, the poorest Romanian region, the Nord-East Region has a GDP per capita of only 29% of the EU average. Not surprising, on the opposite side, with a GDP per capita of 111% is situated the Bucharest-Ilfov Region (Eurostat Press Office, 2012).In line with the poor and uneven spread economic development across regions, the poor infrastructure situation is one of the major concerns in Romania. As an exemplification of the status of transport in Romania, it should be pointed out that “the country is the EU’s ninth largest member by land area, but has only 331 km (211miles) of motorway, less than half that of their neighbouring Hungary (925 km) and not even three percent of Germany’s 12,813 km” (Ilie, 2011, p. 2). With regard to water infrastructure “only 52% of the entire population of Romania is connected to water and wastewater infrastructure” (Government of Romania, 2007, p. 98). These statistics and many others reveal that the standard of living in Romania is far below that of other Member States. Therefore, urgent development needs are present in Romania in order to bring the country closer to the level of other Member States.This poor economic development has a negative impact on Romania’s competitiveness. According to the 2008-2009 Global Competitiveness Report issued by the World Economic Forum, Romania ranked 68th out of 132 countries. The country has been placed in the second last position among all of the EU Member States. Among the factors that positioned Romania in the low ranking, following factors have to be mentioned: underdeveloped infrastructure, bureaucratic and corrupt institutional framework, instable macroeconomic situation, difficult access to finance and poor development of a knowledge-based society (Porter & Schwab, 2008, pp. 286-287). The conducted evaluation grounded on factors that influence economic growth reflects the unpleasant situation in Romania. The country has to make a considerable effort to implement measures that stimulate economic competitiveness and guarantee its inhabitants a higher standard of life. Therefore, making efficiently use of the EU Cohesion Policy is crucial in achieving this goal.In the NSRF, the four main priorities under the EU Cohesion Policy financed by Structural and Cohesion Funds in Romania consist of improvements in the areas of infrastructure, national economic competitiveness, human capital, and administrative competencies (Government of Romania, 2007, pp. 91-92). Nearly €5.3 billion are devoted for investments in “the basic infrastructure and increase accessibility,” with a main focus on projects under the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T): “1.400km new roads will be financed from the funds” (European Commission, 2009b). In addition to the investments in modernizing the deficient roads and rail networks, prior attention is also given to the improvement of drinking water and waste management in order to ensure an environment infrastructure at EU standards (Hurjui, 2008, p. 114). Furthermore, Structural and Cohesion Funds will finance research and innovation projects, which aim to increase “long-term sustainable economic competitiveness” (European Commission, 2009b). Other priorities constitute strong investments in human capital, offering a national “modernized education and training infrastructure” and “social inclusion of disadvantaged groups” (European Commission, 2009b). Only by supporting skilled people and including a socially disadvantaged workforce into the labor market will Romania efficiently make use of its knowledge-based society. Last but not least, a main emphasis is placed on developing qualitative and efficient public services in the administration sector. In particular, delivering “effective administrative capacity” by fair policy formulation and decision making will promote economic and social cohesion as well as business growth (Hurjui, 2008, p. 114).The case of Eastern Germany is a perfect example that supports this argument. Similar to Romania, the entire region of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) was eligible to receive funds from the EU Cohesion Policy under the Convergence objective. In 1991, the new “Bundesl?nder” (including East Berlin) generated roughly 8% of the GDP of the former Federal Republic of Germany. In 1998, the GDP of the new Bundesl?nder increased to only 10% of the Western region of Germany. Between 1991 and 2006, the former GDR regions ran through three programming periods with €40.2 billion available to them through the Structural and Cohesion Funds. Nevertheless, a considerable improvement in terms of GDP did not follow over the years. Today, with a GDP below 75% of the EU-25 average, Eastern Germany is still lagging behind in terms of economic development (Toepel & Weise, 2000, pp. 184-186). Therefore, the EU Cohesion Policy and the significant allocation of Structural and Cohesion Funds did not deliver the expected contribution in terms of increasing the standard of living and transforming Eastern Germany into a prosperous region.#p#分页标题#e#Based on this case, the high expectation of national economic development expressed by the Romanian Government in the NSRF for the 2007-2013 programming period is debatable. Within this context, this paper discusses to what degree Romania values the EU funding opportunity and how high the country’s capacity is to absorb the funds.The Financial Allocation of EU Funds in RomaniaThe financial assistance under the EU Cohesion Policy is primarily devoted to less-developed regions in order to stimulate growth and employment. As a consequence of the accession to the EU of countries with a low level of economic development, the EU Cohesion Policy budget share for the programming period 2007-2013 considerably increased. The available financial resources for the Policy total up to €347 billion, which represent “35.7% of the EU budget and 0.38% of total GDP of the EU”, while the major beneficiaries are located in Central and South Europe (Ciurea & Miu, 2010, p. 48).The considerable amount of financial resources allocated to Romania for the 2007-2013 programming period was determined as follows. As a Member State whose average GNI per capita for 2001-2003 was situated below 40% of the EU-25 average, Romania benefited from “a maximum level of Structural Instruments transfers of 3.78% of [its] GDP”. At the same time, as an eligible Member State for the Cohesion Fund, Romania was granted an additional one third of the overall Structural and Cohesion Funds allocation (Government of Romania, 2007, p. 152).Another important aspect to consider is the financial incentives granted to the new EU Member States. In order to encourage a better absorption performance of the allocated financial resources for the 2007-2013 programming period, the European Commission promoted a simplified and flexible financial management. First, the budget spending time has been extended from the “n+2 rule” to the “n+3 rule” for the 2007-2010 period. For Romania and the other new Member States, this means that the allocated budget can be spent within three years from the year of commitment (n+3). Second, a 5% increase of the co-financing rate was applied. In other words, Romania and the other new Member States could benefit from 85% of the national public expenditure financed by EU funds (Zaman & Georgescu, 2009, p. 139; Cace et al., 2009, p. 12). The granted financial assistance to the new Member States represents an effective mechanism that facilitates the financial transfer of EU funds in order to ensure the efficient implementation of the EU Cohesion Policy at the national level.In order to make use of the €19.2 billion available for Romania under the EU Cohesion Policy, of particular concern is the successful implementation of projects under each of these seven OPs. To ensure efficient project implementation, accurate financial and management control at the national, regional and local levels is crucial.Institutional Structure of the EU Cohesion Policy in RomaniaAs mentioned in section 2.4, the EU does not impose any certain institutional structure at the national level (McMaster & Novotny, 2005, p. 5). According to the EU provisions, each Member State is responsible to assign the appropriate ministry to the leading role of managing the Structural and Cohesion Funds, to decide whose responsibility the implementation of OPs will be, to ensure financial execution and control, to determine the monitoring process based on the partnership principle, and last but not least, to guarantee the national co-financing of development projects (Horvat, 2005, p. 6).In the specific case of Romania, the establishment of the management and implementation structure of the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds started prior to the 2007-2013 programming period. The institutional structure was set up by the Government Decision No. 497/2004 before Romania’s full accession to the EU. The main purpose of this legislation was to ensure the core management structure and bodies responsible for the coordination, management and implementation of the EU funds of the pre-accession period 2005-2006 and those EU funds awaited in the post-accession programming period 2007-2013. In order to align with the new Cohesion Policy acquis, the legislation of 2004 was replaced by the Government Decision No. 457/2008. The new normative decision aims to strengthen the national coordination, management and implementation structure (ACIS, 2010, p. 28; Government of Romania, 2007, p. 8).A great part of the institutions involved with EU funds in the 2007-2013 programme period have already acquired experience from the pre-accession programmes Romania in which has taken part. This fact enables the Government of Romania to build the 2007-2013 institutional framework on the already existing expertise and experience of the pre-accession fund management (Institute for Public Policy (IPP), 2006, pp. 31-32). Following a decentralized approach, the institutional structure established by the Government of Romania for the 2007-2013 period assigns the responsibility to coordinate, manage and implement the EU Funds to five bodies: (a) the Authority for Structural Instruments Coordination (ACIS), (b) Managing Authorities, (c) Intermediate Bodies, (d) the Certifying and Paying Authority, and (e) the Audit Authority (ACIS, 2010, p. 28). For a comprehensive overview see Annex 2.The Authority for Structural Instruments Coordination (ACIS) fulfills the key role of coordinator for the implementation of the EU Funds in Romania. The responsibilities of the ACIS include the “development of the institutional, legal and procedural framework necessary to implement these funds as well as the coherent and efficient functioning of the entire administrative system” (Susanu, 2008a, pp. 4-5). Likewise, the ACIS plays a crucial role in the monitoring and information disclosure of the EU funds implementation status. The ACIS was located under the Ministry of Public Finance. However, since September 2011, it has become a component of the newly established Ministry of European Affairs led by Leonard Orban, the former European Commissioner for Multilingualism. The purpose of the recently created Ministry of European Affairs was to ensure progress in the critical problem of attracting EU funds. According to Romania’s former Prime-Minister Emil Boc, the Ministry of European Affairs was designed to coordinate and strengthen the relationship between several ministries at the national level through ACIS (Boc, 2011).Subordinated to the Ministry of European Affairs, an institutional entity at Ministry level designated as Managing Authority was appointed for each OP. The seven ministries (see Annex 2) are responsible for the management and implementation of projects within the respective OPs. Several tasks for project implementation are delegated to the Intermediate Bodies (IBs), institutions designated by each Managing Authority. The IBs constitute the interface between the Managing Authority and the final beneficiary (ACIS, 2010, p. 28), except in the cases of the OP Transport, OP ACD, and OP TA. These three OPs do not have an Intermediate Body.A Certifying and Paying Authority has been established to elaborate payment requests to the European Commission in order to receive the EU funds assigned to Romania. The responsibility of the Certifying and Paying Authority was set at the national level for all OPs and lies with the Ministry of Public Finance (Government of Romania, 2007, p. 8).Finally yet importantly, for the legal control of operations, an Audit Authority for all OPs was created. The Audit Authority acts as an independent body and it is assigned to the Court of Accounts (Government of Romania, 2007, p. 8).