Romania: A Balkan Tiger?

Written by Catalin Hosu

An independent US think tank has published a report which states that Romania could become an economic powerhouse – if it allows progressive economic projects like the Roşia Montană gold mine to go forward.

The Democracy Institute report “Balkan Tiger or Balkan Backwater: Today’s threat to Romania’s economic future,” notes in over 38 pages the key issues facing the Romanian economic growth plans, commenting that Romania faces a choice between two policy paths: one leads to a prosperous, market-driven tiger economy built upon environmentally sustainable foundations; the other leads to a Romania with the status and circumstance of a Balkan backwater.

The report uses Roşia Montană as a “political test case”, a litmus test for Romania’s future. According to the report, the fight over the Roşia Montană gold mine encapsulates the problems facing Romania today: a project that is vital to the Romanian economy, not only in the GDP contribution of over $24 billion, but also in its ability to encourage local and overseas investors to seek opportunities in Romania, boosting growth and highlighting that the country is “open for business”.

The independent report also points out that while it has high hopes for Romania’s economic future, achieving a thriving economy will be impossible if special interests and disinformation derail promising projects. The Democracy Institute makes the key observation that environmental fears are unfounded owing to strict EU regulations, and that “an identical project proposed in another jurisdiction renowned for environmental protection, such as Sweden or Finland, for example, would receive rapid approval, such are the guarantees in place.”

It seems clear that this report is a good step towards clarifying the pressure upon Romania to deliver its economic plan for growth and baring the truth about the positive impact that could be achieved by the Roşia Montană gold mine.

The Roşia Montană gold mine can be a standard bearer for a revitalized mining sector, attracting local and overseas investment into Romania, and boosting the Romanian economy – all while maintaining the highest environmental standards, with a sustainable future for Roşia Montană.

Read the full report from the Democracy Institute.

To understand more about the direct benefits Romania will receive from the mine at Rosia Montana, please see ‘How will the mine affect the economy?’ on our Explainers page.

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