Croatia to Withdraw a Billion Euros from EU Funds This Year

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EU Funds Minister Tolušić has major plans for this year

This year, Croatia will withdraw around a billion euros from EU funds, announced Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds Tomislav Tolušić at the opening of the EU Funds Week, reports HRT on March 7, 2016.
“So far, we have been withdrawing crumbs from the rich European table, but that will change”, said Tolušić. “In the budgetary period from 2014 to 2020, out of 10.7 billion euros which are available to us, so far we have withdrawn only 146 million euros, which is almost nothing”, he said and explained that up a billion euros for this year will be withdrawn thanks to simplified procedures, 200 new competitions and better coordination on the ground.

Tolušić stressed that the project procedures relating to the withdrawal of money from EU funds are extremely complicated and announced that he was working on their simplification. The minister assessed that Croatia lacks experts for EU funds and announced new employment, noting that 85 percent of the salaries of these newly-employed professionals will be covered by the European Commission.

He added that Slavonia could be the largest receiver of funds, and cited the Municipality of Lovas as one of the most positive examples in the withdrawal of EU funds.

Agriculture Minister Davor Romić agreed that the record of withdrawing EU funds had been pitiful. “My expectations are much higher, especially since the agriculture has at its disposal 2.3 billion euros, and it is a huge amount of money which should be used in the rural areas”, said Romić. He added that farmers this year will not be disadvantaged in terms of subsidies. Talking about penalties issued to farmers by various inspections, he said that he will try to make it a rule that any first offense is penalized only with a warning, and not with a monetary fine.


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