ZAGREB, November 19, 2018 – Top-level authorities need to be educated about European Union funds and end-users need to be provided with full technical support in preparing and implementing European projects, according to conclusions of a conference on EU funds, which was held in Zagreb on Monday.
Participants in the conference, including a Croatian member of the European Parliament, Ivana Maletić, and officials of the Paying Agency for Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, agreed that the end users were often not provided with satisfactory answers and that they faced delays in the payment of funds, which resulted in a rising aversion towards EU funds.
“We lack in managerial skills at all levels. We need training, and when it is organised, senior officials fail to attend such events,” MEP Maletić said. “When it comes to the absorption of EU funds, it is necessary to be fast and focused,” Maletić said.
She added that not all problems could be solved with EU money, but that the country should focus on a few priorities in their absorption.
Božana Bešlić of the Paying Agency for Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development said that the end-beneficiaries of EU funds met with difficulties when seeking information about project preparation and implementation and noted that the sources of information were dispersed.
Saša Bukovac of the agency said that Croatia had over 18 billion kuna at its disposal for agriculture and rural development and that to date, contracts had been concluded for projects worth more than 9 billion kuna.
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