Financial Inclusion and Vulnerable Populations in Romania
October 18th, 2022, 13:30 – 16:00
Anton Carp Hall, National Bank of Romania
About the Workshop
The current context of mounting inflation and economic stagnation, the subnational disparities in Romania are likely to grow. Inter-generational and intra-generational inequalities grow as large categories of vulnerable populations face mounting pressures on their quality of life. Under the European Pillar of Social Rights, Romania’s limited progress in meeting its targets on poverty reduction is monitored under the European Semester. Furthermore, income inequalities are aligned with salient territorial polarization of economic activities, with just a few leading cities concentrating most financial transactions in Romania. In the national strategies and programs, there is limited consensus on the support mechanisms for vulnerable populations in the current context. This workshop will address this gap in the decision-making process, by presenting new evidence on the vulnerable populations in Romania and the challenges they face and inviting public and private stakeholders to contribute to an evidence-based dialogue focused on solutions. Financial inclusion and economic opportunities remain key elements of safeguarding the vulnerable groups against poverty and precarity. Similarly, the EU funding framework has provided important new tools for targeted interventions in social assistance and poverty alleviation programs. As such, this workshop aimed to facilitate the co-creation of solutions between public and private sector actors, based on updated mapping of socio-economic vulnerabilities in Romania.
Workshop Format: Chatham House rules, by invitation only roundtable discussion with leading public and private sector representatives. Moderated discussion, based on questions addressed to speakers and followed by open interventions from other participants. Discussions will be held in Romanian.
About Aspen New Economy & Society Program
The workshop was be organized by Aspen Institute Romania (AIR), under the aegis of the Aspen New Economy & Society, AIR’s non-partisan platform for debate. Under the umbrella of the Program, a community was created comprising multiple stakeholders from the public, private, and non-governmental sectors, aiming to identify key constraints and untapped opportunities facing the existing economic, investment, and development model of Romania and to formulate key public policy recommendations.
13:00 – 13:30 Registration & Welcome Coffee
13:30 – 13:45 Opening Remarks
- Clara Volintiru – Program Director, Aspen New Economy and Society Program
- Florian Neagu – Deputy Director, Financial Stability Directorate, National Bank of Romania
- Florin Spătaru – Minister of Economy, Government of Romania
13:45 – 14:15 Presentations
- How Romanians perceive the banking system: financial inclusion and access to credit
- Gabriela Folcuţ – Executive Director, Romanian Association of Banks
- Provident Financial Romania: “Invizibilii” Project Conclusions
- Florin Bâlcan – Country Manager, Provident Financial Romania
- Marian Marcu & Alexandru Dincovici – “Invizibilii” research team
14:15 – 16:00 Roundtable Discussion
Moderator: Prof. Clara Volintiru – Program Director, Aspen New Economy and Society Program