European Commission Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira and Croatian Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds Nataša Tramišak signed the Partnership Agreement between the European Commission and the Republic of Croatia at a special government session on Thursday, which enables Croatia to use nine billion euros from non-refundable EU funds until 2027.
Within the framework of the partnership agreement with the Commission, Croatia will receive a total of 9 billion euros of cohesion policy funds for the period from 2021 to 2027, in order to promote the economic, social and territorial cohesion of its regions and the green and digital transition.
These investments are expected to help reduce regional economic disparities and improve skills, training and employment opportunities. EU funds will also encourage the development of a competitive and innovative export-oriented Croatian economy.
Of the nine billion euros, 2.56 billion euros are intended for "climate change mitigation", 2.5 billion for "jobs and equality", 1.74 billion will be invested in the "innovative and smart economy", and 1.34 billion euros is for "traffic".
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said in the introduction of the government session that the value of the agreement of nine billion euros represents 17 percent of Croatian GDP, and that together with other sources of financing, Croatia has 25 billion euros available for development in the next decade.
Commissioner Ferreira assessed that the EC-Croatia agreement is "much more than just money" and represents what Croatia wants to be and is a positive moment in Croatia's life, a path for investments and balanced development.
According to her, the agreement has three ambitions. The first is the work to create a "smarter and more competitive Croatia" with the diversification of the economy and its digitalization, where she emphasized the need to expand the economic base beyond tourism.
The second is to make Croatia "greener" and direct it towards a "net zero" economy, and the third is to support Croatian society and population so that it is more employable, with competitive skills and abilities.