The European Commission has today approved Croatia’s investment plan to use EU cohesion policy funds worth €449.4m allocated to the country when it joined the EU on 1st July 2013.
The National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) prepared by the Croatian authorities sets out the investment priorities for Croatia’s regions in order to accelerate economic growth and create employment, boosting the country’s overall competitiveness. Strategic projects with clear, pre-defined goals matching these priorities must quickly be identified so as to make the best use of this valuable investment by the 2016 deadline.
The European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, along with European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor welcomed the timely submission and approval of the investment plan.
The NSRF outlines three strategic goals:
- strengthening economic competitiveness;
- establishing optimal economic conditions for job creation and employability;
- achieving balanced regional development.
Its adoption paves the way for implementation of strategic operational programmes in: "environment", "transport", "regional competitiveness" and "human resources", with a further breakdown of investment priority axes and project selection criteria.
The European Social Fund (€60m) will support job creation and invest in social inclusion and education projects.