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Croatia to get €9 billion in European cohesion policy


Written by Eric Apim on Thursday, August 25th 2022 à 10:45 | Read 235 times



The EU wants to help all Croatian regions to catch up with the capital (photo: F.Dubessy)
The EU wants to help all Croatian regions to catch up with the capital (photo: F.Dubessy)
CROATIA. As part of its partnership agreement with the European Commission and the EU cohesion policy for the period 2021-2027, Croatia will get a financial aid of 9 billion euros. It will be distributed throughout the territory of this Western Balkan country to allow all regions to catch up with the capital Zagreb.

This envelope will be used to "promote the economic, social and territorial cohesion of its regions and its ecological and digital transitions", as underlined in a press release from the European Commission. "These investments will help reduce regional economic disparities and improve vocational training and employment opportunities. The EU funds will support the development of a competitive, innovative and export-oriented Croatian economy," the text continues.

31% of the €9 billion will come from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), including €1.7 billion to support "a smart and innovative economic transformation of Croatia by strengthening the competitiveness and internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and by helping to improve the skills of employees". 3% of the money released by the ERDF will be reserved for the development of smart and sustainable islands.
 

Mitigating the effects of the ecological transition on the economy and employment

The Cohesion Fund to climate objectives will provide 39% of the sum, of which €2.6 billion will go to improving energy efficiency and increasing the share of renewable energy in energy production. It should reach 60% by 2030.

The new Just Transition Fund (FTJ) will provide €179 million to "mitigate the effects of the ecological transition on the economy and employment". At the same time, almost €2.5 billion from the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) will "stimulate the creation of quality jobs and skills and improve education, health care and social services". This will include support for employment, especially for women, youth and vulnerable groups, as well as "improving the capacity of labor market institutions such as public employment services, including through digitization."

"I welcome the strategic focus of ESF+ investments, the promotion of quality jobs, the provision for everyone of the skills they need to navigate the labor market of today and tomorrow, and the substantial funding of social services that are essential for social inclusion, including assistance to people with disabilities, health care and long-term care," commented Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights.
 

Encouraging sustainable fishing

Part of the funds obtained will be used to develop sustainable aquaculture in Croatia (photo: F.Dubessy)
Part of the funds obtained will be used to develop sustainable aquaculture in Croatia (photo: F.Dubessy)
The European Fund for Maritime Affairs, Fisheries and Aquaculture (EFAFAFA) will invest €244 million in Croatia to encourage sustainable fishing, protect biodiversity and develop processing and aquaculture sectors towards sustainability. "This partnership agreement stimulates Croatia's ecological and digital transition and contributes to the consolidation of sustainable, innovative, resilient and low-carbon fisheries and aquaculture sectors in the Adriatic," confirms Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.

"Since Croatia's accession to the EU (Editor's note: in July 2013) , the cohesion policy has invested in the balanced development of the country the equivalent of 4% of Croatian GDP, which has helped to improve its competitiveness, create new jobs and promote a greener and more digital economy," stresses Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reform.

It is mainly European funding (85% of the total budget) that has, for example, enabled the inauguration in mid-August 2022 of the Pelješac bridge. This bridge now offers territorial continuity to Croatia.

This new envelope of additional funds for the period 2021-2027 will allow to continue this commitment.



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