Operational Programme 'Regional Competitiveness' for Croatia


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Croatia is the 28th Member State of the European Union since 1July 2013. On the same day, the IPA pre-accession programme "Regional competitiveness" became a Convergence programme co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. The programme covers the whole of Croatia. This programme is being extended for the remaining six months after the accession to cover the full programming period 2007-2013. The decision approving the programme is expected in autumn 2013.

1. The purpose and aim of the EU investment

Croatia lags behind in the level of competitiveness of its economy and in the development of the innovation and technology transfer as compared to the majority of the Member States. The programme "Regional competitiveness" aims at supporting the unleashing of the economic potential of Croatia by increasing the regional potential for economic development, developing entrepreneurship and the support to SMEs, and fostering the innovation and transfer of technology in the country.

2. The expected impact of the investment

The programme is expected to contribute to a better competitiveness of Croatian regions and to a reduction of regional disparities.
The development and upgrading of the regional business and tourism infrastructure will contribute to higher attractiveness for investors, new opportunities for employment, the set-up of SMEs, the enrichment and diversification of the Croatian economy.
Direct and indirect support to SMEs and public higher education and research institutions will provide better conditions for the development of new businesses, increase the productivity and efficiency of the enterprises, introduce and develop innovative and advanced technologies.
Some expected results by the end of the programme implementation in 2016:

  • 200 new gross direct jobs created
  • 90 new SMEs set-up in the supported business and research infrastructures
  • 18 new cooperation agreements between research institutions and businesses
  • 18000 more visits in the tourism equipments supported.

3. Priority axes

Priority 1: Development and upgrading of the regional infrastructure and raising the attractiveness of regions

This priority targets developing public business- and tourism-related infrastructure in order to increase the attractiveness of Croatian regions for entrepreneurs and workers, inhabitants and visitors as well as to stimulate economic growth and job creation. Investments are focused on: improving the efficiency, capacity, quality and attractiveness of existing business zones, new and existing business incubators, and other business support entities grouping and servicing SMEs; and enhancing the infrastructural capacity leading to increased tourism activity.

Priority 2: Enhancing the competitiveness of the Croatian economy

This priority aims at developing the entrepreneurship and fostering innovation and research excellence. The stimulation of innovation in the public R&D&I sector will support the generation of new ideas and technological solution and will support the creation and growth of technology as well as knowledge-based entrepreneurs.

High-quality business advisory services will be provided to SMEs, improving business and investment climate, encouraging cooperation between businesses through development of clusters, and developing effective business support capacities relative to e-business. Improved cooperation of business and education and research sectors will facilitate technology transfer.

Priority 3: Technical Assistance

This priority contributes to a sound and efficient management and implementation of the programme, by improving the administrative capacity of the institutions concerned and supporting implementation, monitoring, evaluation, control and communication activities, and preparing sectoral studies and future operational programmes.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Regional Competitiveness' for Croatia

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

CCI no


Number of decision

Final approval date

Breakdown of finances by priority axis

Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
1 Development and upgrading of the regional infrastructure and enhancement of the attractiveness of regions 62 163 242 3 500 000 65 663 242
2 Enhancing the competitiveness of the Croatian economy 113 796 166 6 500 000 120 296 166
3 Technical Assistance 11 820 186 2 085 916 13 906 102
Total 187 779 594 12 085 916 199 865 510