Assisting less developed areas in Croatia in preparing projects for EU funds
Ministry of regional development and European Union funds in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Croatia began to implement the project “Preparing the ground for the usage of EU funds: creating a project database for the less developed areas of Republic of Croatia.” The project, worth 3.480.000 kunas, is preformed in three counties: Lika-Senj, Karlovac and Sisak-Moslavina. The ministry cover 67 percent of the total project value (2.320.000 kunas), and UNDP the remaining 33 percent (1.160.000) kunas. Predicted duration of the project is fifteen months, from August 2013 to December 2014.
Presenting this project, whose aim is to strengthen administrative capacity for the use of structural and investment EU funds on a local and regional level, Branko Grčić, Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of regional development and EU funds pointed out: “While taking advantage of EU funds, it is important to have projects that are focused on development and growth, improved socio-economic conditions in sectors which are recognized as strategic on country and EU level which contribute to not only the fulfilment of national development goals, but also to strategic goals of Europe 2020.
Recognizing UNDP’s abundant experience, we are expecting a significant shift in dynamic and the number of projects for the less developed areas in Croatia which will be financed by the EU funds. “Project hunters” are part of the state help to the less developed local governments, primarily to areas of special state concern which lack the strength and local capacity. On the other hand, their needs for development projects are the highest”, stated Grčić.
UNDP chose MRRiFEU as a project partner in order to take advantage of their experience, network gained through decades of active work in preparation and implementation of local and regional development projects in the less developed areas in Croatia. Louisa Vinton, UNDP Croatia Resident Representative stated: “On behalf of UNDP I can say that it has been a great pleasure to partner up with the Ministry in order to help the less developed Croatian areas use the opportunities EU funds offer. After being active for more than a decade in the area, we understand well their wants and needs. We are very eager to see the work continue in the context of EU membership when bountiful resources become available for solving priority challenges and improve people’s lives,” stated Vinton.
Based on MRRiFEU and UNDP’s cooperation, a Project Catalogue will be prepared for projects which could be financed from structural and investment EU funds, documented methodology and standard forms for project summaries and project ideas which can be implemented to other areas of Croatia. Capacity of public actors on a local and regional level will be improved regarding identification, development and implementation of project proposals for EU fund use.