Since the beginning of this year, Croatia has withdrawn about five billion kuna from European funds.
The Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds announced on Friday that this year Croatia has withdrawn from the EU funds about five billion kuna, which is three billion kuna more than it had paid into the European budget, reports Večernji List on August 26, 2016.
Citing the data by the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Regional Development pointed out that so far this year Croatia has withdrawn from EU funds 662 million euros, mostly for projects in the fields of transportation and environmental protection, entrepreneurship development, investments in reconstruction of student dormitories, scientific projects, cultural heritage initiatives and others.
Comparing the numbers with previous years, the Ministry said that in 2015 Croatia withdrew 558 million euros, and in 2014 just 548 million euros. “Since joining the EU in 2013, every year Croatia withdraw from EU funds just slightly more than it paid into the European budget. The current result is a good indicator of this year’s work and an indication that the utilization of funds will increase significantly, which will encourage investment and economic recovery”, said the Ministry.
Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds Tomislav Tolušić said that “we do not talk a lot, but we work a lot. We are currently three billion kuna in the green, given the funds paid into the EU budget. This is our joint success and we are one step closer to achieving the goal that we have set at the beginning of the year”.
“Some of the major changes in 2016, which have contributed to this success, are certainly new and simplified procedures, the establishment of project databases, capacity building, and better coordination between the Ministry, counties and regional development agencies”, said the Ministry.
Mediocre results in withdrawal of EU funds were one of the often mentioned criticisms directed against SDP-led government before the 2015 elections. The current Ministry, led by HDZ’s Tomislav Tolušić, is keen to prove that the current government has done a better job and that it is able to more efficiently and effectively use the European funds.