National Plan for Island Development, Island Register Presented

By 1 September 2021
National Plan for Island Development, Island Register Presented
Mario Romulić

ZAGREB, 1 Sept, 2021 - Representatives of the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds presented the National Plan for Island Development and Island Register in Preko on the island of Ugljan on Wednesday, saying these were strategic documents that should enable a better quality of life on all Croatian islands.

"The National Plan for Island Development is a comprehensive document, presenting various sources of financing and aims, priorities, measures and projects for the development of the islands in the period from 2021 to 2027," the ministry's state secretary, Šime Erlić, said.

The document covers many areas, from social and cultural to traffic and other areas vital for people living on the islands, Erlić said. It underscores the key issues that bother islanders and they will be resolved with the help of national and European funds, he added.

Some of the key problems are transport connectivity from the islands to the mainland, access to health care, water supplies and environmental protection, he said.

"This plan is a basis for negotiations with the European Commission. Croatia is negotiating a new financial envelope and preparing priority investments," said Erlić.

Asked about the problem of water supply, he said that owing to legislative changes, the quantity of water available to islanders had increased from 45 to 85 cubic metres per person but he underlined the importance of building water supply and drainage systems on islands. He added that funding for those investments would be available as well.

He said that measures under the National Plan for Island Development were estimated at HRK 7.8 billion.

Speaking about the Island Register, Erlić said that this was the first time all the islands had been listed and categorised in one place - all 1,244 islands, islets and rocks.

"We have created a database that will serve as the basis to prepare analytical reports necessary to direct and manage efficient policies for island development," he said.

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