Given Romania's status as a future EU member state, expertise in managing European projects has a strategic importance and is a prerequisite for the sustainable development of the country. This paper starts from the premise that there is a correlation between the project maturity of the Romanian society and the results it achieves in managing the EU-funded projects. As various analyses have shown, Romania's maturity as a project-oriented society is quite low, meaning that it lacks widespread competence and practice in project management, a genuine "cultural background" of thinking and performing in terms of projects. This low maturity is a major impediment in the absorption of EU money. In order to improve this absorption capacity, which has been one of the greatest concerns of all Romanian governments till now -, this macro background needs to be changed instead of implementing very expensive training schemes for public administration or related sectors only. The paper draws the attention upon the root causes for Romania's lack of preparedness in the field of EU-funded projects and thus, upon the need to change the focus in policy-making and implementation.