Romania buys two firefighting vessels from Dutch company Damen for 44 million euros the day before Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s visit / The purchase comes ahead of the decisive vote for Schengen entry / Parallel to the British frigate deal
The General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (IGSU) of the Ministry of the Interior signed on Tuesday a contract with the Dutch company Damen for the purchase of two multirole firefighting vessels. The contract was signed in a public ceremony and IGSU chief Raed Arafat said the vessels cost €20 million and €24 million respectively.
It is worth noting that this contract is signed the day before the visit to Romania of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who is due to hold talks with President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă.
G4Media wrote in September that the Netherlands is the only country still raising concerns about Romania’s Schengen accession, with a junior party in the Rutte-led coalition government reportedly having reservations about Romania’s Schengen entry.
It is worth noting that Raed Arafat did not mention anything about the procurement procedure – whether it was a tender or a direct award. The sums needed to carry out the purchase are from European funds – Large Infrastructure Operational Programme (POIM), under the Vision 2020 Project. The two vessels are intended for search, rescue and fire-fighting operations.
In the public procurement portal there is a tender launched by the IGSU on 1 June 2022 for two multirole vessels under the VISION 2020 Project and the only participant in the tender is the Dutch company DAMEN SHIPYARDS GORINCHEM B.V.
Arafat also said that the two ships will be built by the Dutch company Damen at its shipyard in Galati.
It should be recalled that Romania made another controversial purchase of ships before joining the EU. The British company BAE Systems was at the centre of a scandal in Romania following the purchase of two second-hand frigates by the Nastase government for £116 million. The Nastase government was accused of signing the contract to facilitate a positive response from the UK to its application for EU membership.
Translated from Romanian by Ovidiu H.
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