Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Up to €15,000 for Small Farmers in EU Thanks to Croatia's Initiative

ZAGREB, 25 May 2022 - Small farmers in the EU could soon receive up to €15,000 in one-off aid and agricultural SMEs up to €100,000 thanks to a Croatian initiative.

Croatia launched the initiative at a meeting of agriculture ministers last month and it was supported by 13 member states.

According to the initiative, due to the hikes in energy, fertiliser and animal feed prices, every member state would pay small farmers and agricultural SMEs up to 5% of their budgets as part of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development for 2011 and 2022.

The Commission endorsed the initiative and last week proposed a decree which the agriculture ministers discussed on Tuesday.

"We expect co-legislators to swiftly ratify this proposal, after which we will amend the rural development programme which will enable emergency aid for Croatian farmers and SMEs in the agricultural and food sector," Croatian Minister Marija Vučković said after yesterday's meeting.

In Croatia's case, the 5% amounts to a little over €30 million in additional EU funds.

The ministers also discussed the consequences of Russia's aggression on Ukraine, a big exporter of farm products which cannot export them via its Black Sea ports due to Russia's blockade. The EU is looking for a solution to transport the goods by rail and road to the EU and then to the nearest ports for dispatch elsewhere in the world.

The EU does not depend on import from Ukraine but is trying to prevent hunger in Africa and the Middle East, which are big importers of Ukrainian cereals.

Vučković said Croatia was drawing up a proposal for bringing those goods to its Adriatic ports, from where they could be exported to northern Africa. "We are mapping our ports, our rail network and silos which could contribute to the export of Ukrainian products."

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Government Presents 52 Grant Agreements for Investment Projects

ZAGREB, 23 March 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Wednesday presented 52 grant agreements for investment in public water supply and drainage projects and in kindergartens, community centres and fire stations in rural areas. The total value of the agreements is HRK 565 million.

The agreements were awarded under the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan 2021-2026.

Of the 52 agreements, 25 relate to public water supply and drainage systems. Their total value is HRK 394 million, of which HRK 241 million is provided by the EU in the form of grants. The other 27 agreements were awarded under Measure 7 in the Rural Development Programme for the construction of kindergartens, community centres, sports facilities and fire stations. Their total value is HRK 155 million, but the total value of these investments exceeds HRK 171 million.

"The point is that we have joined the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, as a new, additional instrument to speed up the economic development of Croatia, with activities under Measure 7, which has a much wider reach," Plenković said, adding that the purpose of this was to improve the quality of life and infrastructure in rural areas.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Saturday, 30 October 2021

Croatia to Get €319 Million in EU Grants to Repair Earthquake Damage in Banovina

ZAGREB, 30 Oct, 2021 - The European Commission has decided to award €319 million in grants to Croatia to help it repair damage caused by the 29 December 2020 earthquake in the central region of Banovina.

The EC said on Friday that it had adopted a decision to award Croatia grants from the EU Solidarity Fund (EUSF) based on the country's application for the compensation of funds used to repair damage caused by the 29 December earthquake, the Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The EC decision is a draft that will be forwarded to the European Parliament and Council of the EU for further proceedings and the payment will be made once those proceedings are completed.

The ministry recalls that in August 2021 Croatia received a part of an advance in the amount of €41.325 million and under the EC's draft decision, the total amount of grants for damage repair is €319,192,359.

Also, Croatia has so far received €683.7 million in grants to repair damage caused by the 22 March 2020 earthquake in Zagreb. The total amount of grants for earthquake damage repair to be obtained from the EUSF is more than a billion euros, the ministry said.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Croatia Has €28 Million at Its Disposal in Erasmus+ Programme

ZAGREB, 27 March 2021 - Croatian Science and Education Minister Radovan Fuchs said on Friday that more than €28 million had been made available to Croatia as part of the Erasmus+ programme in the first programme year.

Fuchs made the statement at a video conference at which the new generation of the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programme for the period 2021-2027 was presented.

The minister said an increase in the annual budget is expected, recalling the last seven years of successful implementation of Erasmus+ in Croatia.

"More than 120,000 citizens from all age groups participated in project activities, from those in pre-school institutions, primary and secondary schools, student dormitories and polytechnics to museums, libraries, and organizations working with young people as well as many others, 1,565 in total," said the minister.

Of the 112,000 participants, as many as 57,000 took part in mobility projects abroad.

"During the past seven-year period, more than 2,800 Erasmus+ projects were agreed, and Croatia had more than €160 million in EU grants to co-finance them. It signed contracts for an impressive 99% of the available funding," said Fuchs.

The Erasmus+ programme is the biggest EU programme for education, training, youth, and sport. It enables the acquisition of new knowledge, experience, and skills for all age groups - from kindergarten children to older age groups.

Thanks to an almost doubled budget, the new Erasmus+ programme will be aligned with the digital and green transition, and it also aims to increase participation for those with fewer opportunities.

The new programme will play a key role in creating a European Education Area in the period until 2025 and in the further promotion of the sector of education and training, youth and sport. A European student card will be a key contribution to simplifying, facilitating, and encouraging student mobility in Europe. The programme will also support leading initiatives such as the European Universities Initiative, the Erasmus teacher academy, and vocational excellence centers.

The programme also provides great opportunities for young people, including volunteering in Croatia and abroad. The next seven years will enable the European Solidarity Corps programme, which promotes solidarity and unity.

To read more news from Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.