A net EU gain for Croatia.
During 2015, Croatia paid a little more than 3 billion kuna into the EU budget, while at the same it received more than 4 billion kuna, which means that Croatia will again be in the black, according to data published by the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds. According to preliminary data from the Ministry of Finance, Croatian payments into the EU budget for 2015 amounted to 3.01 billion kuna, or 394 million euros. At the same time, Croatia received from the EU budget a total of 4.24 billion kuna, or 556 million euros. This means that this year it had a positive balance of 1.23 billion kuna, reports Jutarnji List on December 28, 2015.
The Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds points out that some of the payments go directly to the beneficiaries of individual programs, so the total amount is actually higher than that. The final data will be known next year when the European Commission publishes its financial report. The Ministry claims that, according to previous EC reports, Croatia had a positive balance of 49.6 million euros in 2013, and of 176.6 million euros in 2014.
In the current situation, after a prolonged economic crisis and with high indebtedness of the private and public sector, Croatia will turn in the future to European Structural and Investment (ESI) funds, which give grants for financing the investments and economic activities under the most affordable conditions. However, this does not mean that Croatia will not use funds from the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), the so-called Juncker’s Fund. Given that the areas of investment are rather broadly defined, Croatia will need to decide which programs it will propose for EFSI.
“We are considering projects and investments which cannot be financed completely from the EU funds and other available sources, such as projects in the energy and digital infrastructure. The segment of medical tourism in Croatia, which is a sector that has not yet been sufficiently developed in Croatia, is also under consideration”, the Ministry reported. Currently, the project list consists of about 20 projects in various sectors. “It is expected that Croatia will implement several major infrastructure investments thanks to EFSI, which will also greatly benefit the sector of small and medium enterprises”, the Ministry concluded. The Ministry added that the list of potential projects is not final and is under constant review.