Multiple Croatian Cities Aim for Title of EU Funds Champion

By 26 September 2019

As Novac/Gradonacelnik writes on the 26th of September, 2019, let's have a look at the Croatian cities that are fighting for the title of "EU Funds Champion" in this year's Best City selection, organised by Jutarnji list in collaboration with's project and the Ipsos Agency.

The continental Croatian town of Križevci won the title of "EU Funds Champion" last year, and this year it aims to continue to defend it. The composition of the finalists this year is almost the same as it was last year, which is not surprising given that the calculation takes into account the four-year average of the use of EU funds. In addition to Križevci, Zadar and Ludbreg are once again fighting for the title, and Karlovac and Zagreb are also among the five most successful Croatian cities to use EU funds so far this year.

In recent years, Croatian cities up and down the country have recognised the importance and potential of using EU funds in financing their projects, and they are becoming more successful in doing so year after year. Last year, they withdrew more than 314 million kuna from EU funds, which is almost three times more than was withdrawn back in 2017, and almost four times more than in 2015.

The projections for this year show further growth, and the proactiveness from mayors across the country in calling people to use EU funds is on the up.

Let's take a look at the specific amounts, and mention that Croatian cities have pulled in more than one billion kuna over the four-year period currently under review. More specifically, exactly 1,004,010,921 kuna. An enormous amount of cash.

The fact that it is exactly EU projects which are the drivers of development and infrastructure in most Croatian cities is the reason why the category "EU Funds Champion" has also been introducted in a large selection of the best cities.

Consolidated city reports were used to calculate the best in this category. Croatian cities can withdraw EU funds directly or indirectly (through central government institutions), and data from 2015 to 2018 was used to calculate them. Thereafter, two indicators were created - the amount of EU funds per capita obtained by dividing the total amount of EU funds withdrawn by each city by the number of inhabitants of that city, and the share of withdrawn EU funds by each city in the total amount of all funds withdrawn from EU cities over the aforementioned four-year period.

Subsequently, these two indicators were standardised and aggregated into a common aggregate index using the methodology from the Croatian Ministry of Regional Development.

Based on these analytics and the subsequent data processing, an entrance into the finals this year was secured by the City of Karlovac, which withdrew 768 kuna per capita, and with 4.26 percent of the total amount of all withdrawn funds from the cities, Karlovac ranked among the top five.

The city of Križevci reiterated its entry into the finals, because, among other things, it withdrew 2,210 kuna per capita, it was therefore placed in the ''Top 3'' category of EU funds per capita, and in the ''Top 5'' category in terms of the share of the EU funds withdrawn.

Namely, the city achieved 4.65 percent of the total amount of withdrawn funds for all cities in the observed four-year period. The City of Ludbreg, with its realised 3,325 kuna per capita, is the best in the per capita category.

The coastal city of Zadar is among the best again this year because of its 5.91 percent of the total amount of all withdrawn funds of all Croatian cities in a four-year period.

Finally, the City of Zagreb secured its entry into the finals this year, as it withdrew as much as 18.76 percent of the total realised funds of all of the Croatian cities, thus achieving the best result in the aforementioned four-year period.

All in all, we will find out which Croatian city ranked the best in Šibenik on October the 4th, 2019, at the Days of Regional Development and European Funds event.

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