The European Commissioner Corina Crețu visited Monday, 8 May 2017, the Patriarchal Ensemble in Bucharest where she had a meeting with His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
Corina Crețu visited the Palace of the Patriarchate that has been consolidated and restored with EU funds.
The Palace of the Romanian Patriarchate in Bucharest, a building currently included in the tourist circuit, represents a successful restoration programme financed with European funds, the most extensive work in South-East Europe, the European Commissioner said according to Radio Trinitas.
Mr Victor Opaschi, State Secretary for Religious Affairs, accompanied the European Commissioner for regional policy during her visit. They were welcomed at the Palace of the Patriarchate by His Grace Varlaam of Ploiesti, Assistant Bishop to the Patriarch, and Mr Vasile Banescu, spokesperson of the Romanian Patriarchate.
After visiting the Palace, European Commissioner Corina Cretu met Patriarch Daniel, the Head of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The two talked about the need to simplify legislation in order to speed up access to EU funds for the preservation and consolidation of cultural heritage.
The European Commissioner and the Romanian Patriarch Daniel discussed the major cultural heritage preservation programmes that can be implemented by the year 2020, most of them being old Moldavian churches that need to be strengthened.
The church buildings in rural areas were also brought into question. Corina Crețu said that in this regard a collaboration with the Romanian Ministry of Regional Development is needed.
I will speak with Minister Shhaideh to consider the view of the Patriarchate so that they (the churches) can be strengthened within the Regional Operational Programme and not with rural development funds, she said.