EU Funds Provide an Unprecedented Opportunity for Croatia, Conference Hears

By 6 April 2022
EU Funds Provide an Unprecedented Opportunity for Croatia, Conference Hears
Image: Andrej Plenković/Facebook screenshot

ZAGREB, 6 April 2022 - A two-day conference called Smart Cities 2022, organised by the Lider business weekly, started in Zagreb on Wednesday, with the mayors attending it being told that they should do their best to make the most of EU funds for the strategic development of their communities.

"EU funds for the 2021-2027 period provide an unprecedented opportunity for Croatia, with minimally twice as much funds being available than in the previous period," said Ana Fresl, president of the Croatian Employers Association (HUP) association of EU fund professionals.

She said that Croatia had €13.5 billion available from the seven-year cohesion policy, and an additional €6.3 billion under the Recovery and Resilience Facility due to the pandemic.

Fresl told the mayors attending the conference that this meant twice as many opportunities as well as twice as much financing and risk on their part.

Towns cover around 3% of land area but generate more than 70% of the total emission of greenhouse gases. The Horizon Europe mission for climate neutral and smart cities has defined a goal to have at least 100 climate neutral cities by 2030.

The president of the Association of Cities, Zaprešić Mayor Željko Turk, told mayors to be bolder because they would never again have so much money at their disposal or responsibility and challenges.

He noted that many cities had made significant progress in digitalising their administration and making their accounts transparent, as well as in kindergarten enrollment and smart solutions for environmental protection.

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