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Reform Support
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Supporting reforms to transition to a green economy and fight climate change

Funding Programme
  • 2021

Strengthening the economic regulation of the solid waste sector

The Commission provided support in developing a new law on waste tariffs, which would apply new economic instruments to help Romania achieving its targets on waste management and recycling rates. The project also provided capacity building to the national regulator and to local authorities on how to apply the new economic instruments. The legal amendment was a RRP milestone (#46), and the project was instrumental in Romania meeting the milestone on time.

The project gives Romania the tools to achieve its municipal waste targets and recycling targets; the implementation of those tools in the upcoming period will be critical.


Waste management is a strategic national priority for Romania, in  terms  of  meeting  related  EU obligations, increasing the quality of life of Romanian citizens and boosting economic opportunities. The country continues to be characterised by low recycling  of  municipal  waste  (14%)  and  high landfilling  rates  (70%).  Moreover, recycling  rates  have  been  stagnant since  2013, while  the incineration rate has increased slightly.

The reform of the waste sector in Romania has been ongoing since 2018 with alternate fortune; its inclusion in the Recovery and Resilience Plan gave it an additional boost on the public sector priorities.

The project is fully aligned with other EU initiatives on the topic, such as Circular Economy Package, the Zero Pollution Action Plan, the first Zero Pollution monitoring outlook, the review of the air quality directives and the urban wastewater treatment directive as well as the Green Deal Industrial Plan and the Critical Raw Material Act.

Support delivered

The project delivered first some input on how new economic instruments should be included in the amended waste legislation (e.g. pay-as-you-throw, Extended-Producer-Responsibility…). The report was based on a benchmarking of international best practices and a study visit.

Second, the project provided a report on how to implement those economic instruments at local level

Third, the project performed capacity building activities targeted at the national regulator as well as to local authorities.

Results achieved

In October 2022 Romania adopted Order no. 640/30.09.2022 on the approval of the Methodological Norms for setting, adjusting or changing tariffs for sanitation activities, as well as for calculating separate tariffs/taxes for waste management and sanitation taxes, which was published in the Official Journal no. 984/11.10.2022. The new law takes into account all the recommendations form the project.

By March 2023 more than 60 officials have been trained on the new economic instruments included in the Order no. 640/2022.

Useful links

Official journal:

More about the project

You can read the final report here: