The European Commission said this week it has approved Croatia's plan to use EUR 449.4mn worth of EU funds to finance investments in line with the priorities set in the governemnt's National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF).
NSRF targets boosting the economic growth, employment and competitiveness in all regions of the country. The priority projects that match these goals must be identified quickly so as to make use of the investment by the 2016 deadline.
The EU funding will come through three programmes. The Cohesion Fund (EUR 149.8mn) is set up to finance waste and wastewater management projects. The European Regional Development Fund (EUR 228.4mn) will invest in business support for SMEs, research and innovation, as well as in basic infrastructure like railways and waterways. Finally, the European Social Fund (EUR 60mn) is to subsidise job creation and education projects.
Croatia joins the current financial period of cohesion policy six months before it ends as it entered the EU on July 1, 2013 - this means that all approved projects should be completed by end 2016.
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