The European Commission on Tuesday disbursed €818 million to Croatia in a pre-financing payment under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RFF), which is equivalent to 13% of the country’s total financial allocation under the RRF.
Marić said that the government had agreed the pace of expenditure and implementation of reform and investment measures. He said he expected at least 50 projects to be prepared by the end of the year, adding that they concerned digital transformation and the transition to green transformation in the industrial sector.
“Who will get these funds will depend on tenders and fulfilment of the criteria,” the finance minister said.
He announced tenders for the construction of kindergartens and schools, and said that individual projects, such as development of autonomous vehicles by the Rimac company, were also important.
Before the end of this year or early next year, there will be additional tenders for the award of grants for energy efficiency and further green transformation, and some of the funds will also go towards post-earthquake reconstruction, he said.
Asked about the possibility of Croatia losing some of the money because of problems with public procurement, Marić said that public procurement must be efficient because “projects are subject to deadlines, and speed and efficiency are the key.”
He noted that the Croatian public procurement law is the most complicated in the EU and needs amending.
Asked who can apply for NPOO funding, Marić said that in the context of the manufacturing industry those would be small and medium-sized businesses, notably those that would contribute to green and digital transformation.
“Funds will be disbursed to all those that fulfil the criteria and requirements,” he said, adding that funds would also go towards development of the telecommunications network.
“This 13 percent of the allocation has now been paid, the next €700 million will be paid by the middle of next year and a further 700 million by the end of next year. We need to carry out 34 measures until the end of this year. Some have already been implemented, while some have certain risks,” Marić said.
“The next tranche will depend on how many measures have been fulfilled. If we fulfil all 34 measures, €700 million will come in, and if we don’t, there will be a certain correction to this amount,” Marić concluded.
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