Government Launches Changes to NUTS Statistical Subdivisions

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ZAGREB, January 24, 2019 – The government on Wednesday launched changes to the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS 2), dividing Croatia into four statistical non-administrative units which will improve regional aid allocation and ensure better terms for the absorption of European Union cohesion funds.

Another goal is forming as homogeneous regions as possible in terms of development, and the new division will also redress the injustice done in 2012, when less developed parts of the country, notably Slavonia and Baranja, were obstructed in attracting EU funds, said Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Gabrijela Žalac.

The government’s decision, under which the country is divided into Pannonian Croatia, North Croatia, Adriatic Croatia and the City of Zagreb, will go into force on 1 January 2023, at the same time as new European regulations, she said, adding that the proposal would be submitted to Eurostat by February 1 this year and that the EU’s new financial perspective would be based on the new regulations.

Žalac said that under the current division, the continental region comprises 14 counties and the City of Zagreb and the Adriatic region seven coastal counties.

The counties of the former Pannonian Croatia – five in Slavonia and Bjelovar-Bilogora, Sisak-Moslavina and Karloavac counties – will again make up one statistical region, she said, recalling that these counties were at 40% of the EU development average.

Five counties in north Croatia – Krapina-Zagorje, Varaždin, Međimurje, Zagreb and Koprivnica-Krizevci – make up the third statistical region, while Adriatic Croatia is made up of the seven coastal counties.

The City of Zagreb becomes a separate unit as it has a population of over 800,000 and is the only unit in Croatia whose development is more than 100% above the EU average, and also to prevent its development degree from spilling over to other counties and diminishing their businesses’ ability to absorb higher percentages of regional aid.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said Bjelovar-Bilogora County would be part of Pannonian Croatia, although the county said they wanted to be part of North Croatia. He said such a decision was in the interest of all those wishing to invest and create jobs in the county.

He noted that Bjelovar-Bilogora was the eighth most undeveloped county and that it would get higher economic aid. He said the county could intensively cooperate on joint European projects with the northern counties.

More news on the Croatia and EU funds can be found in the Business section.


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