Numerous Croatian Cities Chase Best EU Fund Withdrawal Title

By 20 October 2020

As Novac/Vedran Marjanovic writes on the 19th of October, 2020, unlike last year, when the three best Croatian cities in regard to EU fund withdrawal were chosen within the selection of Jutarnji list, the portal and the Ipsos agency, in this year's selection of awards in this category, there will only be the one single Croatian city, and Krizevci, Rijeka, Virovitica, Zagreb and Zadar are in the competition.

In support of the candidacy for the best Croatian city in terms of EU fund withdrawal, Rijeka submitted five projects for which the European Union provided co-financing in the handsome amount of 210 million kuna. The most financially demanding among them are the projects of the revitalisation of the Bencic complex (122.7 million kuna, of which the EU co-financed 68.2 million kuna) and the tourist valorisation of the representative monuments of Rijeka's industrial heritage, with a total value of 81 million kuna, with non-refundable EU funds making up 68.8 million kuna of that figure.

''For the project of inclusion, ie the inclusion and integration of students with disabilities in regular schools, 8.3 million kuna has been provided from the European Social Fund to finance 57 teaching assistants,'' the Rijeka City Administration stated.

The people of Krizevci have already won this category of the best cities on two occasions in the past, and they are in the race to take the title for the third time with eight projects worth a total of 54 million kuna in total, which include co-financing from EU funds. The largest share of co-financing from EU funds, 85 percent, was provided to Krizevci for the Healing Places project which involved spas in cities, worth 15.5 million kuna.

''The EU Rural Development Programme has provided co-financing of six million kuna for the reconstruction of the social home in Carevdar, and the total value of the project is 7.4 million kuna,'' they pointed out from the city administration of Krizevci.

The Dalmatian city of Zadar is also in the race to take the EU fund withdrawal title, and the total value of four infrastructure projects that Zadar is developing with the financial support of the EU stand at 167 million kuna in total. These include projects for the implementation of smart transport solutions (with a total value of 14.8 million kuna), the reconstruction of roads with proper bicycle paths (35 million kuna) and the reconstruction of a youth centre worth close to 40 million kuna.

''The Youth Centre is a 'brownfield' investment in the very centre of the city in order to revitalise the currently unused facility,'' they announced the Zadar City Administration.

The reconstruction of the roundabout located at the southern approach of the city, for which Zagreb was generously provided 272.8 million kuna from the EU, is one of four major projects attached to the capital's candidacy for victory in the EU fund withdrawal category. There is also an investment with the help of EU funds for the purchase of 29 city buses which conform to the appropriate environmental standards worth 55.8 million kuna, which the Union will co-finance in the maximum of 85 percent.

''The project's technical documentation for the implementation of energy renovation and the use of renewable energy sources in 25 public sector buildings such as schools, kindergartens and health centres is underway, marking a total investment of 229 million kuna, of which 103.4 million kuna was co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund,'' they point out in the Zagreb City Administration. Zagreb will withdraw a total of 480 million kuna from EU funds for projects submitted with the candidacy in this competition.

Virovitica also entered the finals of the selection of the best city when it comes to EU fund withdrawal with five projects worth a total of 113 million kuna. The most valuable among them is the project of the integrated development programme of Virovitica called ''5 to 12 for the castle'', which refers to the comprehensive renovation of the Pejacevic castle in an investment of 82 million kuna.

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