Over the past seven years, Croatia has managed to use all EUR10.7bn the EU had placed at its disposal from the Union funds, but end users of projects have so far received 39% of that sum, which puts Croatia in the last place among 28 states.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, on Oct. 19 posted on its Cohesion Data webpage the latest data for all member countries, including the UK.
Croatia is at the bottom along with Spain, where end users have also been paid 39% of the total amount of arranged funds. In Italy 40% was paid out, in Slovakia 41% and in Slovenia 53% of the sum. In Croatia, the level of agreements on projects is excellent, but the problem lies in the payment of funds, SEEbiz quoted the European Commission as saying.
The money goes from the EU budget via the Croatian administration to end users across Croatia. The obstacle, as the Commission put it, is the fact that public procurement procedures take a long time and that the Croatian administration imposes complicated procedures on users.
The projects in Croatia agreed on between 2014 and 2020 may be completed by the end of 2023, and so the remaining 61% of the EUR10.7bn should be paid out by then.