Since joining the EU in 2013, Croatia has paid 19.7 billion kunas (some €2.6 billion) into the European budget, while receiving HRK 34.1 billion, which has resulted in a 14.4 billion kuna surplus (around €1.9 billion), the Regional Development and EU Funds Ministry says.
With faster and better absorption of EU funds, that difference will continue to grow, the ministry notes, adding that more than 80% of all public investments and 8,306 private companies are currently financed with EU grants.
Croatia has €10.7 billion in EU funds at its disposal, 66 percent of which has been allocated, nearly 85 percent of the tenders have been advertised and 21 percent of the allocation has been paid to beneficiaries.
Financing big infrastructure projects in transport, healthcare, science, enterprise and environmental protection has been facilitated to achieve economic and social growth as well as development at all levels, the ministry says.
General economic trends in Croatia since it joined the EU are positive, as is GDP growth, unemployment decrease, and export growth, notably to the rest of the EU, which is the result of duty-free access to a single market of 500 million inhabitants, the ministry says.
The stable environment in the EU also facilitates the development of tourism, an extremely significant industry, a major step forward has been made in the fiscal policy, and major efforts have been made in public finance, overturning extremely negative trends, the ministry notes.