”Croatia is Successful in Using Most Important EU Programs”

Lauren Simmonds

Minister Gabrijela Žalac and Commissioner Corina Creţa held a dialogue with citizens.

On Thursday, September the 20th, 2018, a dialogue with citizens entitled “The Cohesion Policy of the European Union – A Contribution to the Prosperity of Slavonia” was held in Vukovar, during which Romania’s Corina Creţu (European Commissioner for Regional Policy), responded to direct questions citizens on cohesion policies, the new European budget, and the European perspective for Croatia’s most overlooked areas in the east of the country – Slavonia, Baranja, and Srijem.

“I think Croatia had a long way to go before its entry into the EU and I can only say that you’ve done a great job. In my area of ​​responsibility, the cohesion policy, I can confirm that your country has made the most of the money from European structural and investment funds. This has helped to create jobs, modernise infrastructure, and support young people to acquire the skills they need. Croatia is very successful in exploiting the most important EU programs, including the Investment Plan for Europe and Erasmus +. I’d also like to congratulate the Government of the Republic of Croatia for its outstanding efforts in regard to the recovery and the development of Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem. I can only say that the projects for Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem have the full support of the European Commission, as well as my own personal support,” Commissioner Creţu said.

“The opportunity for growth and employment in the areas of Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem is something we’ve recognised as potential and we’ve placed emphasis on further development and investment in sectors such as food processing, wood processing, tourism and information and communication technologies. The main objective of the Government of the Republic of Croatia is to strengthen competitiveness and balance regional development, respond to key social challenges, and reduce poverty and increase the [living] standards of Slavonian counties,” added Minister Žalac.

Dialogues with citizens are a direct form of citizen conversation with the European Commission and have been being held in all EU member states since back in 2013, they have attracted a lot of public interest and are well attended. Just last year alone, 316 dialogues with citizens took place involving all types of people.

Commissioner Creţu has been in Croatia since the 20th of September 2018 and will visit Vukovar and Beli Manastir during her visit, where she will hold a series of meetings with the highest Croatian officials and meet with PM Andrej Plenković and Minister Gabrijela Žalac.

In addition, she also took part in the VI. session of the Council for Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem, which was held today at 11:00 in Beli Manastir.


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