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We continue our monthly ‘Country Digest’ with EU facts & figures from the EU's youngest member state – Croatia.
Croatia joined the EU exactly 5 years ago and while there are many success stories to mark this anniversary, the progress with the implementation of EU founds is still not satisfactory.
The country has been allocated almost 11 BEUR for the 2014-2020 period; a large portion going towards R&D, ICT, transport, environment and health sectors. Out of the total budget for Croatia, 53%has already been allocated to projects, while only 14.5 %has been contracted.
During her last visit to Croatia, the Commissioner Corina Cretu commended Croatia for its progressin absorbing funds from ERDF and the Cohesion fund. Indeed, there the allocation stands at 60%for ERDF and 58%for Cohesion Fund, while on the other hand only 31%has been allocated to projects within ESF.
For every member state, EU founds present a welcomed investment and a relief to the state budget, more so for Croatia as EU funding represents nearly 80% of national public investment in Croatia, the highest rate in the EU.
The country has also been vocal on the Commission's proposal for the next MMF. Among others, it is in favour of keeping the same levels of funding for the Cohesion Policy in the next EU budget, co-funding rate at 15% and less bureaucratic burden for beneficiaries.
Croatia also embarked on drafting a National Strategy 2030that will determine long term developmental directions and strategic goals, and will frame the country's priority for the next financing period of 2021-2027.
Did you know ..?
- Croatia become a member state of the EU on 1 July 2013.
- Almost 11billion euros has been allocated to Croatiafor the period of 2014-2021; out of which 8.4 billion euros for Cohesion Policy, 2.03 billion eurosfor agriculture and rural development and 253 million euros for development of fisheries and maritime protection.
- European Structural and Investment Funds are implemented via 2 National Operation programs – OPCompetitiveness and Cohesion & OP Effective Human Resources. Majority of investment is going towards environment protection and resource efficiency, support of SMEs, transport and energy and social inclusion.
- Project Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem– launched by the Government to secure 2.5 billion euros from EU funds exclusively for projects in the five Slavonian counties. The funding will support SMEs, projects in agriculture, education, health, R&D, water supply and drainage, cultural and natural heritage, transport, inland waterway and energy.
- Until September 2018, total investment from the so-called Junker Planamounts to 224 million euroand could stimulate EUR 1.1 billion in additional investment.
- Based on the Commission's proposal for the new budget for Cohesion Policy, Croatia would benefit from 8.7 billion euro (in 2018 prices) in the period of 2021-2027