The Republic of Croatia, as European Union Member State, has at disposal Structural Instruments – the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, and the Cohesion Fund. The Republic of Croatia became a full European Union Member at the moment of transition from the programming period 2007 – 2013 into the programming period 2014 – 2020.
The main purpose of EU funding is to provide financial assistance to fulfil the requirements arising from the European Union legislation, which Croatia transposed into its national legislation in accordance with the Treaty Concerning the Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union (Official Gazette, International treaties, 2/2012).
- Financial assistance for the low-carbon economy development
- Promoting climate change adaptation and risk prevention
- Environmental protection and resource efficiency promotion
- Promotion of sustainable traffic and elimination of bottlenecks in the key infrastructural networks
EUROPEAN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND
- Productive investments that contribute to the creation and preservation of sustainable jobs through direct incentives for investments in small and medium enterprises.
- Investments in the infrastructure for providing main services to the citizens in the field of energy, environment, transport, and ICT.
Investment in the social, health, and education infrastructure.
- The development of the internal potential by supporting local and regional R&D&I.
- Technical assistance
THE FUND AS INTERMEDIATE BODY LEVEL 2
In accordance with Regulation (EU) No. 1303/2013, in order to utilise EU funds all Member States are obliged to set up the system of management and control of utilising European and investment funds. Bodies operating within the system of management and control of use of EU funds are defined, as well as their roles.
Pursuant to the Act and the Regulation, the Republic of Croatia set up the system for the management of the Operational Programme “Environment” 2007 – 2013, whose implementation will last until 31 December 2016.
This system was accredited by the European Union on 10 April 2014. The Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund (the Fund) was assigned the role of Intermediate Body level 2 in this system for the area of waste management. In this period, the Fund will continue controlling the implementation of the already approved projects for the construction of waste management centres and remediation projects of non-hazardous waste landfills, and preparing the calls for choosing the future waste management projects that will ensure the absorption of allocated EU funding.
For the upcoming 2014 period and pursuant to the Act and the Regulation, the Republic of Croatia set up the system for the management of the Operational Programme “Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014 – 2020”, whose implementation will last until 31 December 2023. The Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund (the Fund) was assigned the role of Intermediate Body level 2 for a considerably wider area in this system. Apart from waste management, the Fund is Intermediate Body 2 for the area of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, climate change adaptation, air protection, biodiversity, and NATURA 2000 areas.
As Intermediate Body level 2, the Fund is responsible for developing the methodology for evaluating eligibility criteria, implementing the procedure for verifying eligibility, and as one of the signatories of the contract, for controlling eligibility of costs and monitoring the implementation.
2007 – 2013
The umbrella strategic document in the previous programming period 2007 – 2013 was the National Strategic Reference Framework, while the 4 operational programmes were the main instruments for the absorption of EU resources.
The Operational Programme “Environment” is oriented to the implementation of EU directives in the priority sectors of waste and water, and in the waste sector, while the Fund is performing the functions of Intermediate Body level 2.
As part of the Priority axis 3, the purpose of Technical assistance is to strengthen the capacities of the bodies involved in the implementation of the operational programme. In compliance with the Joint National Rule No. 14 “Use of technical assistance”, the Ministry of Environment and Energy, as Managing Authority for the Operational Programme, invited the Fund to draw up and submit the project application. The Grant Agreement for the projects financed from the EU structural funds and the Cohesion Fund under the 2007 – 2013 Programme was concluded on 13 June 2014.
2014 - 2020
Within the new 2014 – 2020 programming period, the new national strategic documents were prepared, describing the way in which the Republic of Croatia will comply with the common goals of the Europe 2020 strategy with the assistance of the resources from the EU budget, and the manner in which it will ensure quality management and control of utilisation of EU structural instruments. The main planning and programming document, the Partnership Agreement, in which Croatia, for the first time as a full European Union member, is planning investments from the European funds for the period 2014 – 2020, and it establishes the mechanisms providing for alignment with the Union strategy for smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth (Europa 2020strategy).
On 12 December 2014, the European Commission (EC) approved the Operational Programme “Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014 – 2020”. Under this programme, Croatia has at disposal EUR 6.881 billion of EU funding to be invested in growth and development, of which 4.321 billion euros are from the European Regional Development Fund, and 2.559 billion euros are from the Cohesion Fund.
Under the Operational Programme “Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014 – 2020”, the Fund is designated as Intermediate Body level 2 for three Priority axes, and within these axes for seven investment priorities and 13 specific objectives.
You can find the details in terms of priorities and specific objectives here.