Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Virovitica Will Have Largest Budget Ever in 2019, Investments Planned

Virovitica is by far one of Croatia's most overlooked cities. Located what feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle of desirable Dalmatia and the funk of the capital city, not far from the Hungarian border, this quiet continental Croatian city is like a step back in time, with all but its highly advanced budget for next year, it seems.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 21st of November, 2018, Virovitica will have the largest budget in its entire history in 2019, it adds up to about 286,175,000 kuna, an amount the city councillors adopted at their fifteenth regular session.

At the session of the city council, it was stated that in relation to last year, Virovitica's budget plan had increased by a considerable 13 percent, mainly due to large and significant urban projects that will be co-financed by European Union funds and the state budget itself. In addition to providing funds for the material expenses and the investment maintenance costs, the City of Virovitica expects continued work on projects which have already begun being worked on, as well as some brand new investments.

Thus, the city's 2019 budget includes funds to continue the construction of the Centre for Education and Rehabilitation and three-part school sports hall in the amount of 27,150,000 kuna and the reconstruction of the City Park and Castle Pejačević in the amount of 28,200,000 kuna. There are two projects which mainly involve the energetic restoration of buildings, including the "Cvrčak" kindergarten and the Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić primary school, both in the amount of 1.620.000 kuna, according to a report from Glas Slavonije.

In addition, the City of Virovitica has plans for a few totally new investments, including the construction of a sports and recreation centre in Virovitica - a complex which will be built on the site of some former barracks, worth 26,300,000 kuna, an increase in the overall energy efficiency of public lighting worth 14,350,000 kuna, and the energetic renovation of various buildings, a cultural centre, and the reneal of the of the sport community building, worth a massive 16,330,000 kuna.

In addition to all of the aforementioned, there are also plans for several more projects, including the construction of communal infrastructure, rearranging the traffic zone around the Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić primary school, road construction in certain areas, car park construction, and other infrastructure projects described in more detail in Virovitica's construction program for 2019.

Make sure to keep up to date with more information like this by following our lifestyle page.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Investment in Croatia: 150 Million Kuna for Primorje-Gorski Kotar County

Whether it be big or small, investment in Croatia with the help of European Union funds continues to keep the country's offer competitive.

As Morski writes on the 17th of November, 2018, in one port area in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, the biggest investment cycle so far has begun. ​​Of the massive 150 million kuna investment, as much as 60 million kuna are the projects of the County Port Authority of Crikvenica, and works in Jadranovo, Crikvenica and Selce will begin next week, according to HRT Radio Rijeka.

The project's contractors are Crikvenica Construction and Rijeka BSK Commerce. The completion of the port extension has been announced in Crikvenica for eighteen months time, that in Selce will be done in five years, and in Jadranovo, the expected time limit is one year, with the overall desire for it to be completed before next summer.

Speaking generally, investment in Croatia is a hugely important step in continually improving the country's already rich offer, and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County has not launched such a large investment cycle in its coastal area ever, County Prefect Zlatko Komadin said. This year, 40 million kuna's worth of works began, while the rest of the investment cycle is expected to reach 150 million kuna in the next two years. Along the coast in the Crikvenica area, there also will be works on the ports of Unije, Susak, and Cres. The views of places and cities are changing, which is already evident in Njivice (Krk) and in Novi Vinodolski, and such changes will soon also be seen in Crikvenica, noted the prefect. Komadina also pointed out that they have withdrawn most possible European Union incentives for the upcoming works.

Nada Milošević stressed that as much as 101 million kuna is coming from EU funds. "The Ministry's contingency has been extended until February the 29th next year, so we're planning to run two more projects in addition to the Crikvenica project, involving Rab and Purpurela ports, part of the fishing port and the extension of the Baška port," said Milošević.

The director of ŽLU Crikvenica, Mario Kružić, announced that in Crikvenica, the existing pier will be extended by another sixty metres, and a new western breakwater of 130 metres in length will be built to protect the port from waves. Two existing gates will be built in Selce on Polača and Stari mul, which will be 100 metres longer. In Jadranovo, the plans are the construction of a new promenade of about 400 metres in length, and in Perčin port, the communal berths will be renovated, and in the concessioned area, nautical berths will be constructed. The plan also boasts an 80-metre deep breakwater pontoon, as well as the construction of two piers at lengths of sixty metres.

Work should begin next week, and Crikvenica's administration has asked tourists and citizens alike for their patience, as heavy machinery will be moving through the city streets.

Want to keep up with more news on investment in Croatia, EU funds and other big projects? Make sure to follow our business page for much more.

Click here for the original article by Neva Funcic for HRT Radio Rijeka

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

EU Funds: Croatia Continues to Lose EU Money Because of Irregularities

Just how is Croatia doing when it comes to the proper use of EU funds? With many irregularities reported, in 2023, the line will be drawn and all of Croatia's unused capital will be returned to the budget of the European Union.

As Marija Brnic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 14th of November, 2018, this year, we slowly began to see the effects of Croatia's earlier contracts from the current financial period 2014-2020, and the anxiety is clear after the state budget rebalance due to the dynamics of the use of available funds from European Union funds.

The question of whether or not it will be possible to actually spend the total allocation, which comes with a deadline of 2023, when the line will be drawn and the unused capital will be returned to the EU budget. In 2023, it will also be clear how many Croatian users of EU funds have managed to really fit into the rules that the EU actually set for the use of that money, as public procurement procedures and related irregularities are still rather sore points.

Of the available data, during this financial period for the Competitiveness and Cohesion Operational Program, a total of more than 700 suspected irregularities were reported, and of over 650 of those reported irregularities, over 500 reports were actually found to be true, while apparent issues with 150 applications were never properly established. The most frequent irregularities were detected during project implementation for the misapplication of the rules of public procurement.

Several major cases went public and attracted some very negative media attention to this issue over the past year; the construction of the Dugo Selo - Križevci railway line, which due to the established irregularities had to return five percent of the money, about 60 million kuna, and the renovation project of student homes in Zagreb worth 220 million kuna, are just a couple of them.

Because of the breach of public procurement rules, the rule-breaking of the Student centre project in particular threatens Croatia with significant sanctions. The final decision from Brussels on the matter is still pending.

However, such examples are, if not on such a huge scale, still rather common, and the competent state institutions have said that the most irregularities have been found in construction projects, as well as in numerous water supply projects.

"Our users are still accustomed to the old rules of public procurement, so many projects are presenting with such anomalies," they state.

Ariana Vela, the owner of the College of EU Projects, has analysed data from the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds, implemented by the Central Finance and Contracting Agency for EU Programs and Projects (SAFU), according to which 183 decisions on irregularities have been made so far for as many as 75 users. In 130 cases, irregularities were identified.

"They are all projects from different sectors, but it's important to point out that, over time, the costs are growing," Vela said. Given that for the time being, most of the irregularities have been identified in the phase of implementation, particularly in the segment of public procurement, Vela says to expect a real wave of financial corrections to follow over the coming period, which could have a very serious impact on the public budget.

The projects aren't being stalled or delayed by the aforementioned irregularities, at least not in a procedural sense, but the fact is that financial corrections do have an impact on the final EU contribution, on the beneficiaries of the project, as well as the cash flow if the project is still in the pipeline. In terms of when the projects are completed and the irregularities are subsequently determined, the question that remains is how the individual will return that money.

For more information on Croatia's use of EU funds, doing business in Croatia and the domestic economic climate, make sure to follow our business page.


Click here for the original article by Marija Brnic for Poslovni Dnevnik

Friday, 26 October 2018

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Accuses Croatia of Being China's EU Player

Croatia's decision to allow a Chinese state-owned company to construct Pelješac Bridge isn't sitting well with many...

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Ministry of Regional Development Sets Aside Cash for Event Organisation

A welcome boost for events and their organisers across the country.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Minister Žalac at Budapest Conference on New EU Financial Period

The next "Friends of Cohesion" conference will be held next year in Croatia.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

One Billion Kuna for Energy Renewal of Schools, Healthcare Facilities and More

Is more emphasis on energy efficiency on its way to Croatia's public sector facilities?

Monday, 3 September 2018

EU Money for Osijek IT Park?

Something brand new in the works for Osijek?

Saturday, 25 August 2018

729 New Tractors in 7 Months in Croatia!

Farmers and others in the agricultural field now have more money for equipment and machinery.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Can Cycling Save Split from Traffic Jams? Public Bikes Hitting Streets Soon

Split is one step closer to getting an integrated system of public bicycles like Zagreb, Šibenik, Zadar, Karlovac, Makarska, Slavonski Brod, Gospić, Lastovo, and the European destinations where it has long been part of the offer.

Page 10 of 15