Romania has tolerated a modus operandi for nearly three decades: the actual number of unemployed people is not quantified/estimated, only the number of those receiving unemployment benefit (inevitably, falling) or registered as looking for a job. It is as if the long term unemployed, who are not registered, do not exist.
Everything starts from a wrong legal definition of long term unemployment, which does not include entire communities on the labour market, and also harms the absorption of European funds through the Occupational Programme ‘Human Capital’ (OPHC). The unregistered unemployed will never benefit from OPHC projects, just as they did not benefit from those implemented through the Sectoral Operational Programme ‘Human Resource Development’ (SOPHRD).
There are areas where most of the residents do not have jobs and lack professional training or retraining, particularly in rural areas. Romania is losing large amounts of European funding in this area as it cannot be accessed by the vulnerable target group that should benefit from courses to integrate themselves into the labour market.
What tools does the Commission have at its disposal to resolve this legal deficiency that has a major social impact?