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Currently, the main source of financing regional development programs are European grants. There are some factors that affect the access of the Romanian local administration to these funds and our paper aims to identify the causes of inclusion or exclusion of certain communities from them. We explored four main factors that can influence the level of EU funds absorption: human resouces, problems of mayor's offices, investment experience and public-private partnerships. The results of our research based on more than 60 city halls of cities larger than 10,000 inhabitants from Romania, reveal the factors that hold them back from obtaining the funds needed so much in order to develop efectively. The study proposes solutions in order to eliminate or reduce these risk factors.