Commssioner Cretu Says Croatia Absorbing EU Funds Well

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, June 29, 2019 – European Commissioner for Regional and Urban Policy Corina Cretu said on Friday that Croatia was doing well in absorbing EU funds considering that it was the last country to join the Union, and added that she believed Croatia would be prepared for the presidency of the Council of the European Union in January.

Croatia had a shortage of experts to work on European funds, however progress has been made and today the country is doing well in absorbing money, Cretu told Hina on the margins of a meeting of Danube countries in Bucharest.

The two-day forum, which ends on Friday, was convened to discuss EU-funded projects in 14 countries along the Danube River. It was the last event organised by Romania as the chair of the Council of the EU. Finland will chair the Council for the next six months and as of January 2020 the presidency will assumed by Croatia for the first time.

My advice is that Croatia should not be underestimated as a country. I am sorry that Romania’s chairmanship started with a lot of presumptions that it would not be capable of that task, yet it managed to achieve a lot. This is not just about politicians, but an entire machinery and I believe that Croatia will be prepared for the task, Cretu said.

She added that she hoped that the next multi-annual budget will be adopted during Finland’s chairmanship. If the budget is not adopted in the coming months, thousands of projects could be jeopardised, she warned.

Croatia has been a member since 2013 and has great expectations from EU funds.

In countries like Croatia, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria, more than 60% of public investments are funded by the EU, she said.

Cretu added that the cohesion policy has for three decades tried to reduce the difference in development between poorer and wealthier member states as well as assisting neighbouring countries that are still not part of the EU but participate in projects funded by the EU.

Countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia are already participating in some common forums with member states like the Forum of Danube Countries.

The EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) is a macro-regional strategy adopted by the European Commission in December 2010 and endorsed by the European Council in 2011. The Strategy seeks to create synergies and coordination between existing policies and initiatives taking place across the Danube Region.

The EU finances joint cross-border projects for nine member states and five countries that are still not members and some projects include emergency situations such as floods, wildfires and so on.

The Commission’s President Jean-Claude Juncker had decided that during his term in office (2014 – 2019) enlargement would not occur, however recently negotiation procedures and preparations of future members have continued and Cretu believes these procedures need to be accelerated.

More news about EU funds can be found in the Business section.


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