EC Approves New Statistical Map of Croatia, Enabling Much Higher Co-funding

By 24 November 2021
EC Approves New Statistical Map of Croatia, Enabling Much Higher Co-funding
Steve Tsentserensky

ZAGREB, 24 November, 2021 - The European Commission on Wednesday approved Croatia's new map for granting regional aid from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2027 which will enable much higher co-financing for all regions, including the most developed one, the City of Zagreb.

So far Croatia has been divided into two NUTS2 regions - Continental and Adriatic Croatia. As of 1 January, it will have four - Pannonian Croatia, North Croatia, Adriatic Croatia, and the City of Zagreb.

There are three NUTS (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics) levels - NUTS1 covers all of Croatia, NUTS2 are statistical regions, and NUTS3 comprises the 21 counties.

Under NUTS2, the maximum intensity of aid for enterprises has been 25%.

Under the new statistical division, the maximum intensity for aid for large companies in Pannonian Croatia, where GDP per capita is 41.58% of the EU average, is 50%, 25% more than now.

The same applies to North Croatia, where GDP per capita is 48.43% of the EU average.

In Adriatic Croatia, where GDP per capita is 60.33% of the EU average, aid can now be up to 40%, 15% more than now.

In the City of Zagreb, where GDP per capita is 109.4% of the EU average, aid can go up to 35%, 10% more than now.

In all the above regions, the maximum aid intensities can be increased by 10 percentage points for investments made by medium-sized enterprises and by 20 percentage points for investments made by small enterprises, for their initial investments with eligible costs up to €50 million.

Lika-Senj County, which is part of Adriatic Croatia, qualifies as a sparsely populated area having fewer than 12.5 inhabitants per km2. As such, it will enjoy more favourable treatment in the context of operating aid allocations.

Croatia's regional map defines the regions eligible for regional investment aid. The map also establishes the maximum aid intensities in the eligible regions. The aid intensity is the maximum amount of state aid that can be granted per beneficiary, expressed as a percentage of eligible investment costs.

Revised Regional aid Guidelines adopted by the Commission on 19 April set out the conditions under which regional aid may be considered to be compatible with the internal market and establish the criteria for identifying the areas that fulfil the conditions.

Guidelines identify the most disadvantaged as well as the outermost regions whose GDP per capita is below or equal to 75% of the EU average. Three of Croatia's four statistical regions meet this criterion.