Determinants of the absorption capacity of EU funds for the rural municipalities of Romania

Monica Marin (
Researcher, Research Institute for Quality of Life, Romanian Academy, Bucharest, Romania


This paper examines the determinants of municipalities’ absorption capacity, with a special focus on local governments’ administrative capacity in rural Romania. The analysis is based on a series of quantitative and qualitative data collected in the period 2009-2012. The study’s dependent variable is the municipality’s absorption capacity, measured as the number of approved projects benefiting from European funds in the period 2009-2012. A multiple linear regression model shows that, ceteris paribus, rural municipalities are likely to have more projects approved for European funding because they have high administrative capacity, high levels of social development, experienced mayors, good collaboration capacity, work with consultants to draft their project proposals, and are located in Romania’s North-Eastern region. The paper sheds light on the under-researched topic of capacities that beneficiaries need if they are to absorb European funds.

Keywords: administrative capacity; absorption capacity; European funds; Romania; rural; Central and Eastern Europe

[Full Text]