Ministers meet Commissioner Oettinger for talks on financial envelope for Croatia



Zagreb, 130619. Markov trg.
Banski dvori.
Redovita sjednica Vlade.
Na fotografiji: Gabrijela Zalac, ministrica EU fondova i regionalnog razvoja.
Foto: Goran Mehkek / CROPIX
Goran Mehkek / CROPIX

Gabrijela Zalac, Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds

Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Gabrijela Zalac and Finance Minister Zdravko Maric on Tuesday met in Brussels with European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Guenther Oettinger in an effort to negotiate a better financial envelope for Croatia from the 2021 - 2027 EU financial framework.

According to the draft multi-annual financial framework that the Commission released in May last year, Croatia would receive 6% less from the cohesion fund compared to the previous seven-year budget (2014 - 2020) and instead of having € 10.7 billion at its disposal, the country would be allocated € 9.9 billion or € 800 million less.

The commission has also recommended that national co-financing for projects be increased from the current 15% to 30% and that pre-financing be reduced to 0.5% and the period of implementing projects reduced from three to two years, i.e. the N+3 rule to become the N+2 rule.

- That certainly does not go in our favour - Minister Zalac said.

For now that is a proposal that member states have to agree to. Negotiations will intensify in the second half of this year during Finland's chairmanship and most likely it will be put on the table during Croatia's chairmanship in the first half of next year.

Croatia as the newest member state that only recently started using EU funds, is asking the EU to exempt it from this rule.

Minister Zalac said that end users in Croatia already have problems in providing the 15% required to co-fund the cost of projects and by no means would be able to afford the covering of 30%.

She underlined that Commissioner Oettinger understood Croatia's position and announced a new meeting in early September.

Minister Maric said that Croatia had good arguments to be exempted from the rule considering it was the EU's newest member.