ZAGREB, November 16, 2020 – The EU recovery plan is a big opportunity for Croatia, which has four or five key years to use, European aid from various funds through good projectsfor a relatively quick recovery from the corona crisis and for economic growth and development, a conference heard on Monday.
The videoconference on the EU recovery plan was organised by the European Investment Bank, the European Commission Representation in Croatia and Hanza Media, and its goal is to create a stimulating environment and platform for raising awareness of the opportunities offered by the EU recovery plan, with special focus on financing sustainable and climate-friendly projects.
EU leaders agreed in July on a comprehensive recovery plan for Europe. The Next Generation EU plan was adopted in synergy with the multiannual financial framework (MFF) 2021-2027, and it should repair the economic and social damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, kick-start European recovery and protect and create new jobs.
Slightly over €12.6 billion from the new MFF and €9.4 billion from the Next Generation EU instrument will be available to Croatia.
Finance Minister Zdravko Maric expects a new investment cycle in Croatia, also thanks to EU assistance, as well as a relatively quick recovery.
European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni said that Europe had started to recover in the third quarter of 2020, but then a new wave of the epidemic started.
According to him, EU countries will see an average economic decline of 7.4% this year, and next year they will recover at an average rate of 4.1%.
He added that differences between EU member states were noticeable, and that countries dependent on tourism and hospitality activities were affected more.
So far, the EU has had an adequate response to all challenges caused by the pandemic, Gentiloni said, adding that Croatia will be one of the biggest recipients of EU recovery aid.
Every state is preparing its own plans for reforms and investments, and those national plans must be in accordance with the EU plans. Most of the funding should be used for digital and green projects.
Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, Dario Scannapieco, focused on the climate plan in his presentation, saying that by 2050 the green transition will open half a million new jobs in Europe.