Thursday, 14 April 2022

Osijek-Baranja County Leads in Using European Funds

April 14, 2022 - MEP Karlo Ressler has visited the city of Osijek, where he was presented with several Osijek-Baranja County projects currently in progress that were financed by European funds.

As SiB.hr writes, after a reception in the Osijek-Baranja County, MEP Ressler was accompanied by the prefect Ivan Anušić to visit the construction site of the Economic Centre, which is also financed by European funds

"Osijek and the Osijek-Baranja County do not need additional instructions on how to withdraw money from European funds because they do an excellent job", said MEP Karlo Ressler during his stay in Osijek, adding: "It seems to me that the idea, the perception of a difficult situation as it used to be is no longer associated with the Osijek-Baranja County nor the city of Osijek, and I also think that the new mayor Radić certainly played a big role not only in that but everything that the county has been doing in recent years".

In the company of Osijek Mayor Ivan Radić, MP Ressler visited the construction site of the Osijek Fortress, which is another project financed with European money.

"The city of Osijek is a large construction site, which I explained to MEP Ressler. At the moment, the value of investments in the area of the city of Osijek exceeds one billion kuna, and is largely financed with European money”, said Osijek Mayor Radić and thanked MEP Ressler for showing interest in the city of Osijek and the Osijek-Baranja County.

After the reception in the Osijek-Baranja County, accompanied by the prefect Ivan Anušić, MP Ressler visited the construction site of the Economic Centre, which is also financed by European funds.

"We are implementing numerous projects through the funds of the European Union, through a new financial perspective where our office in Brussels, which has a permanent representative of our 5 Slavonian counties, communicates directly with our MEPs, including Mr. Ressler", said the prefect of the Osijek-Baranja County Ivan Anušić. He concluded that the Osijek-Baranja County and the City of Osijek really have something to boast about.

For more, check out our business section.

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

City of Osijek to Apply for Projects Worth HRK 440 million

April 6, 2022 – Most of the projects that are being implemented in the city of Osijek are financed with extra-budgetary European and national money.

As Lokalni.hr writes, Osijek has become a large construction site. There is no part of the city without cranes and machines everywhere. At the moment, projects worth a billion kuna are being implemented. Most of them are financed by extra-budgetary money, both European and national.

An underpass is being built on Čepinska, which will solve traffic problems that are more than half a decade old. Reconstruction is underway at the Copacabana beach, which will provide Osijek with its first real Olympic swimming pool. The tram line is also being reconstructed, which is a prerequisite for the introduction of low-floor trams. The baroque core of the Fortress is being restored. The most modern wastewater treatment plant is being built in Nemetin. The City of Osijek has donated land to the Osijek-Baranja County in the Nemetin Economic Zone which will serve for the construction of the regional distribution centre for fruit and vegetables. The construction of the Economic Centre is also underway, with the most modern fair space for Osijek.

“The city of Osijek has taken big steps forward. There are many projects. We have listed only the largest. But we don't mean to stop there. We are ready to apply for projects worth HRK 440 million with the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. The documentation has been prepared. We paid special attention to the construction of new kindergartens, as well as the extension of the existing ones and the expansion of schools”, says the mayor of Osijek, Ivan Radić.

One of the projects planned for application with the National Recovery and Resilience Plan is the already mentioned reconstruction of the Copacabana beach, for which the city budgeted 34,743,875 kuna in 2022. The list of the projects further contains arrangements of the Cultural Centre with a budget of HRK 7,884,209, as well as the reconstruction of Trpimirova Street from Vukovarska to the Drava River with roundabouts and pedestrian/bicycle underpasses – the preparation of the project documentation.

Another important project is the construction of road, bicycle, and pedestrian infrastructure in the function of developing public transport and promoting zero-emission transport to improve flow, eliminate bottlenecks and increase traffic safety in the City of Osijek, worth 35 million kuna. It integrates three transport infrastructure construction projects. One of them is the construction of an intra-zone street in Jug 2 in Osijek with traffic areas, mixed sewerage, and public lighting from Opatijska to Medulinska street. Another is the reconstruction of a pedestrian (and bicycle) bridge over the Drava river in Osijek, while the third is the reconstruction of Bizovačka and Osječka streets in Josipovac.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 17 February 2022

EU Fund For Zagreb Quake Relief Can Be Tapped One More Year

ZAGREB, 17 Feb 2022 - Croatia will be able to use money from the European Solidarity Fund for earthquake relief until June 2023, which is one year longer than the initial 18 months, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, said after they met in Brussels on Thursday.

The commission will approve the use of EUSF for earthquake reconstruction in Zagreb until June 2023, which has been adjusted to the period for the use of the allocation because of the earthquake in Banovina and progressive damage caused, Plenković tweeted on Thursday.

Von der Leyen tweeted a similar message

“Glad to meet Andrej Plenkovic today. We discussed reconstruction work supported by the EU after the Zagreb and Petrinja earthquakes. Given the exceptional circumstances, the Commission will look favorably at the request to align deadlines for absorption of EUSF funds to June 2023," tweeted von der Leyen.

Croatia was granted €68.37 million for earthquake relief which according to the provisions of the European Union Solidarity Fund can be absorbed until June this year but that has now been extended for another year after Plenković met with von der Leyen.

We appreciate that the Commission has taken into account the specific situation Croatia was faced with after the two devastating earthquakes that struck this area while we were simultaneously dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, which is a force majeure, Plenković added.

For more, check out our politics section.

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Seven Billion Euro Investment in Croatian Agriculture Possible

December the 6th, 2021 - There could be a big cash injection for Croatian agriculture, which the vast majority of people working in that sector would readily explain is dearly needed...

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Republic of Croatia will send a strategic plan to the European Commission (EC) by the end of this year, which will define the direction of spending money on Croatian agriculture, according to an analysis by the consulting company Smarter from which they point out that this is a document that will largely determine the direction of development of agricultural production by the end of the decade.

"The CAP Strategic Plan is the most important document for the medium term, which determines the financial envelopes, measures and interventions that will be implemented and how the financial resources for Croatian agriculture will be directed," the analysis points out.

Smarter reminds that in five years, from 2023 to 2027, Croatia, not counting state funds, will have a massive 3.25 billion euros at its disposal, with slightly more than 1.5 billion euros intended for rural development, and 1.87 billion for direct payments.

For 2021 and 2022, a total of 1.75 billion euros has been provided for Croatia on the basis of a regulation extending the application of the rules from the previous period, but in such a way that money from the new multiannual financial framework will be distributed under the same rules.

The total funds from the EU budget from 2021 to 2027 amount to 5.17 billion euros, and in addition, through the National Recovery and Resilience Program for Agriculture, 131 million euros are intended, according to Smarter.

Thus, significant investments exceeding 5.3 billion euros from EU funds can be expected for Croatian agriculture.

"It's realistic that more than seven billion euros or over 52 billion kuna will be invested in Croatian agriculture from 2021 to 2027, which gives us an opportunity to make a serious turn towards that and implement the activities necessary to make agriculture more competitive, productive and fulfill its full portential,'' reads Smarter's analysis.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Zagreb Mayor: Plan is to Absorb HRK 1.35 bn from EU Funds Next Year

ZAGREB, 23 Nov 2021 - Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević announced on Tuesday that next year the city authorities plan to absorb HRK 13.5 billion from EU funds which is 40% more compared to 2020, and added that with the introduction of new locations the number of vaccinated Zagreb citizens has doubled.

"Our policy is to absorb as much money from funds to alleviate the city budget," Tomašević told a regular press conference, adding that thanks to that money huge changes would be visible next year already.

He announced that projects by the Croatian Natural History and Ethnographic museums would be financed from EU funds.

Tomašević said that thanks to eight new vaccination locations, in less than two weeks the number of Zagreb citizens who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 has doubled, particularly those receiving the first dose. The number of daily vaccinations has increased to 3,800.

More than 20,000 citizens have been vaccinated at these locations, 13,000 have received the first dose while 19,500 citizens have been vaccinated at the location at the Zagreb Fair grounds, 13,000 of whom have received the first dose.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 13 November 2021

Milanović: Croatia Annually Richer by €267M From EU Funds

ZAGREB, 13 Nov, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović said on Saturday Croatia was richer by HRK 2 billion a year from EU funds but that it was too little.

"When you pay everything, when you absorb everything, when you remove the money for agriculture, which is actually a social fund for the preservation of agriculture which will last as long as France wants it to, that's HRK 2 billion a year, that's one-fifth of Zagreb's budget... that's too little," he said in Trogir at a meeting of the Town Council organised on the occasion of the day of the coastal town.

Milanović said the Recovery and Resilience Facility was something "where the funds are intended for us and we are yet to absorb them, or not."

"That's a huge test, for the administration first of all," he said, calling on the people of Trogir to "fight for that money."

In a dozen years, Trogir will not have fewer people than now, unlike some parts of Croatia which will, just like Bosnia and Herzegovina, which he said did not have just fewer Croats, but Serbs and Bosniaks as well.

"Those are trends which are almost impossible to stop," he said, but added that it was wrong "to give in to a moral panic and create the impression and pressure as if we were disappearing. That's very far from the truth."

He said that demographically, "we will revolve around the level we have reached for another hundred years."

"It's up to us to make life good today and to plan clearly like in the army, which is not being done, what will be in five or ten years. That includes money."

Milanović said the absorption of EU funds was a measure of success. We entered the EU and surrendered some of our natural and state rights and we did that consciously because nobody forced us, he added.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

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Monday, 25 October 2021

KBC Hospital in Zagreb to Get HRK 2.8M From EU Funds for Its Three Projects

ZAGREB, 25 Oct 2021 - The University Hospital Centre (KBC) Zagreb has concluded EU grant agreements with a total value of HRK 2.8 million to prepare project documentation for three projects that were presented on Monday.

The projects refer to the Centre for Genome Research in Oncology and Perinatology, Centre for Research and Early Detection of Lung Cancer, and the National Centre for Multiple Sclerosis Patients.

The projects will assist in developing documentation to successfully apply and implement the projects and they are being financed from the European Structural and Investment Funds.

The actual projects are aimed at improving access to health care and treatment and monitoring the outcome of that treatment. The project documentation should be completed in the next three to four months and after that KBC will apply for funding to implement them, KBC Zagreb director Ante Ćorušić said.

The lung cancer project documentation, valued at HRK 1.5 million, documents necessary for construction works and equipment.

The multiple sclerosis project is valued at HRK 813,000 and the genome research project is valued at HRK 503,000.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 6 September 2021

Contracts for Co-financing Implementation of EU Projects Presented in Osijek

ZAGREB, 6 Sept 2021 - The Minister for Regional Development and EU Funds, Nataša Tramišak, on Monday presented Osijek-Baranja County Prefect Ivan Anušić with six contracts for co-financing the implementation of EU projects at the local and regional level.

The contracts concern projects in which the Osijek-Baranja County administration is the holder or beneficiary of grant contracts, and their total value is HRK 10.9 million.

According to Minister Tramišak, the most valuable contract concerns the construction of a business center in Osijek. The project is worth HRK 65.5 million, of which HRK 45 million has been secured from the EU's Competitiveness and Cohesion operational program and the City of Osijek's ITU mechanism, while HRK 9.3 million will come from the state budget.

The center is expected to be built and become fully operational in a year's time and serve as a venue for trade shows and similar events.

Tramišak said that 49 contracts for co-financing EU projects in Osijek-Baranja County, worth over HRK 78 million in total, would be presented soon. She added that their purpose was to support local government units and their utility companies in the successful implementation of EU projects.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Adriatic Seawater-Powered Energy System: Significant Potential for Croatia

August 18, 2021 - The Adriatic seawater-powered energy system would produce energy using waves and tides. The sustainable energy system is already recognized as one of the current EU green transition solutions.

By the end of August this year, the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds will announce the first call for incentives for sea energy production projects to receive European Union funds, reports Jutarnji List.

Sea energy production using waves, tides, and special heat pumps with seawater is in its infancy in the European Union. However, along with wind farms, solar, and hydrogen, it is recognized as one of the solutions in the current EU green transition.

"The Republic of Croatia has significant potential for developing renewable energy sources, especially for the application of seawater technologies. One of the solutions that could be especially applicable to Croatia, due to its long coastline, is seawater heat pump systems or SDTMV systems," reads the public invitation of the Ministry of Regional Development and EU funds, which decided at this stage to encourage the production of energy from the sea to support seawater heat pumps. Namely, although there are several mentioned technologies in the range of sea energy production, the state estimated that the most interest could be for cranes, i.e., as stated in the invitation, for installing heating and cooling systems using heat pumps from offshore energy.

"Since the level of development of marine technologies in Croatia is not high, only SDTMV will be considered, crane systems that provide a generally stable and continuous source of heating and cooling of seawater that acts as a stable and reliable heat source. Therefore, although there may be high investment costs, the pilot project needs to be explored," reads the position of the Ministry of Regional Development and EU funds. In any case, according to the call's content, it is expected that municipalities and coastal cities, among others, could apply with the associated projects.

According to available data, the technology of sea energy production is already used in several locations along the coast. Currently, its application, among others, is being done by the Istrian Regional Energy Agency (IRENA) in cooperation with the City of Poreč. This is a project to install a seawater heat pump system for the Poreč city administration building. Furthermore, according to IRENA, several other public buildings near the building can be connected to the common circuit of seawater distribution as the main source of heat and thus build an environmentally neutral and financially efficient heating and cooling system in Poreč.

In addition to the coastal city and municipal administrations, marine energy production technology, judging by the experiences from Italy presented at the IRENA meetings, could use ports and marinas to deliver surplus energy to the grid. For example, in the Ancona port, according to the same source, there are plans to install 50 devices that would occupy 200 m of the coastline. The investment worth 670 thousand euros would have a payback period of nine years with an annual production of 670 thousand kilowatt-hours of electricity.

In any case, one and a half million euros are available to interested domestic scientists and investors in the mentioned call, with a minimum (200 thousand euros) and maximum withdrawal limits of 1.3 million euros per project. The share that the state is willing to co-finance in the total project budget varies from 50 percent for small to 30 percent for large entrepreneurs.

"Successfully implemented pilot projects for sea energy production would also increase the capacities and skills of suppliers and developers and consequently contribute to lower costs of SDTMV installations in the future," points out the Ministry.

The project preparation, promotion, and management are co-financed. It is planned that the corresponding contracts on the projects that received co-financing will be signed in May next year at the latest, with the obligation to use the withdrawn money by April 2024.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Friday, 9 July 2021

REPLACE Project Presented at JOINT SECAP Workshop in Rijeka

July 9, 2021 - The REPLACE Project was presented at the JOINT SECAP workshop in Rijeka on June 23. There is no better way to end a year and a half-long Interreg project for Croatia, which was one more ecosystem-concerned cooperation between Italy and Croatia.

When it comes to energy efficiency in Croatia, there is no doubt anybody cares about it more than the scientific community working and associating with Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar (EIHP).

Not only is the EIHP building on its way to becoming the first nearly zero energy building in the whole of the country, but EIHP's expertise also plays a big role in REPLACE Project from Horizon Europe. As TCN previously covered, the project aims to make Primorje Gorski Kotar County energy-renewable territory, and the ongoing meetings about the project (in collaboration with the University of Rijeka) see slow but steady progress in those respects.

As EIHP reports on its website, June 23 saw REPLACE Project presented in the congress hall of Rijeka's Jadran Hotel as part of the final workshop of the JOINT SECAP project.

„On behalf of EIHP, Antonia Tomas Stanković presented REPLACE in the second half of the event. The goal is to support European energetic, climate, environmental, economic, and social goals by 2030 and 2050 by encouraging the gradual replacement of inefficient and outdated cooling and heating systems with new, energy-efficient systems based on renewable energy sources“, informed EIHP.

JOINT SECAP, part of Interreg Italy-Croatia strategic program (much like the CASCADE Project TCN previously wrote about) aims to improve the climate change monitoring and planning of adaptation measures tackling specific effects in the cooperation area.

„The project idea reflects the necessity to operate at a wider district level and better define strategies and actions for climate change adaptation, especially for those weather and climate changes and hydrogeological risks affecting coastal areas. The first phase is developed to build the common methodology for Joint Actions definition and implementation and to share the basic knowledge about issues concerning climate change adaptation strategies and energy efficiency measures. The second phase starts upon the analysis uploaded in the web platform, acting as a useful tool for the development of scenarios for the Joint Actions to be implemented in the Joint SECAP plans, those last constituting the main project deliverable“, explained JOINT SECAP on its website. The workshop in Rijeka was the conclusion of the project as JOINT SECAP ended on June 30 after it began on January 1, 2012, with a budget of € 2,094,857.

The workshop in Rijeka, writes the EIHP website, was organized by Primorje Gorski Kotar County Office for Regional Development Infrastructure and Project Management and by Kvarner Regional Energetic Agency. Representatives of local authorities of Primorsko-Goranska county that were enrolled in creating an Energetic and Climate Sustainable Development Action Plan. These local authorities include towns such as Opatija and Kastav and the districts of Čavle, Matulji, and Viškovo.

„Joint SECAP analyzed energy spending for the included towns and districts, their risks and vulnerability regarding climate change, yearly emissions of CO2 in sectors of building construction industry, public lighting, and traffic. Concrete measures with the goal of adjusting to the effects of climate change and CO2 emissions down to at least 55% by 2030 were suggested“, stated EIHP.

With measures identified, the race with time begins as these measures should be in place as fast as possible to tackle one of the biggest challenges humanity is facing, and Croatia isn't able to be isolated from the threat.

Learn more about Rijeka on our TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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