Ognian Zlatev: Croatia’s EU Membership a Success

Katarina Anđelković

Croatia's EU membership - EU flag

June 27, 2023 – The head of the European Commission’s representation in Croatia, Ognian Zlatev, stated on Monday in Zadar that the 10 years of Croatia’s EU membership were marked by exceptional growth and development. Croatia’s commitment to European values was additionally strengthened during that period.

“For the period from 2014 to 2020, EU funds provided almost EUR 6 billion for Croatia. The total funds from the cohesion policy for Croatia from 2021 to 2027 will amount to EUR 9.2 billion. The National Recovery and Resilience Plan with over EUR 9.3 billion should be added as well. Furthermore, there are also funds and opportunities through numerous centralized Union programs such as Horizon Europe and the LIFE program. All this has enabled and will enable additional investments in infrastructure, innovation and education, thereby increasing Croatia’s global competitiveness” – said Zlatev at a conference organized by the Zadar County Development Agency ZADRA NOVA in the Providur Palace in Zadar. The occasion was the 10th anniversary of Croatia’s EU membership, writes 24Sata.

Moreover, Zlatev said that Croatia’s membership in the EU represents a historical turning point. It further strengthened Croatia’s commitment to the European values of democracy, freedom and solidarity.

He also emphasized that since joining the EU, Croatia has experienced exceptional growth and development. Its economy has become stronger and created new opportunities for companies and individuals, especially with Croatia’s entry into the Eurozone and Schengen on January 1 of this year.

The conference in Zadar was the last public activity for Zlatev, since his mandate in Croatia ends at the end of June 2023. He will then take over the position of special advisor in the Directorate General for Employment in the European Commission in Brussels.



“I would like to express a big thank you to Zadar County, the Zadra Nova agency – our Europe Direct center. Thank you other dear partners from your county, the rest of Croatia, for their excellent cooperation and friendliness. I wish you all a successful continuation of your work, for the benefit of Croatia and all its citizens. Of course, with all that the European Union offers you as opportunities”, he said.

The list of attendees of the conference in Zadar and the fair included the head of the Commission Zlatev and the rector of the University of Zadar Dijana Vican, prefect of Zadar County Božidar Longin, member of the European Parliament Tomislav Sokol, state secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy Marija Pletikosa, director of the Agency for the development of Zadar County Zadra Nova Marina Dujmović Vuković and the previous head of the European Commission Representation in Croatia Branko Baričević.

Member of the European Parliament Tomislav Sokol agreed that “after the first 10 years of Croatia’s EU membership, we can draw a line and conclude that Croatia has profited multiple times from its membership in various aspects”.

“European funds make our health system more efficient, the education system better. They also contribute to the competitiveness of our economy. I would especially emphasize the cohesion policy. It contains the very essence of European solidarity. It gives hope to the new member states from Central and Eastern Europe. They can see it is possible to reach the level of development of the old members”, he said.


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