Friday, 20 November 2020

Contracts on EU Funds Worth HRK 73 mn Presented to Health Ministry, Zagreb Hospital

ZAGREB, November 20, 2020 - Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Natasa Tramisak on Friday presented contracts on EU funds worth HRK 73 million for new healthcare projects to Zagreb's Dr Fran Mihaljevic Hospital for Infectious Diseases and the Health Ministry.

"The coronavirus pandemic has raised awareness of the need to invest more in the health system, in Croatia and the EU alike. We are therefore using all available money from European structural and investment funds," Tramisak said at the contract-awarding ceremony.

She said the contracts would help the hospital continue boosting its capacity and procuring new equipment as well as the Health Ministry buy the necessary equipment, such as a linear accelerator for the KBC Rebro hospital.

Tramisak said projects worth more than 3 billion kuna had been agreed for the health system, with 2.7 billion being grants.

The latest contracts are valued at more than HRK 73 million, and almost 100% of the contract value are grants.

The minister said that apart from a HRK 369 million contract signed last week for the procurement of protective equipment, her ministry had asked the EU Solidarity Fund for an additional €39 million if the procurement of additional equipment should prove to be necessary.

The contract for the Health Ministry is worth HRK 23.7 million and will be entirely financed with EU funds.

The contract for the Dr Fran Mihaljevic hospital is worth HRK 50 million, and EU grants amount to HRK 49.6 million. The funding will help adapt part of the hospital infrastructure and almost half of the funds will be used to buy valuable diagnostic equipment, the hospital's director, Alemka Markotic, said.

Monday, 19 October 2020

Six EU Grant Agreements Presented in Istria

ZAGREB, October 19, 2020 - Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Natasa Tramisak on Monday presented six grant agreements for Istria County, and they were awarded to the City of  Vodnjan, the Municipality of Barban, Juraj Dobrila University and Istrian Development Agency.

Recalling that these were grants for the tenders for projects valued at HRK 75.16 million of which HRK 55.7 million is in grants under the Interated Territorial Investment (ITI) schemes, Minister Tramisak said that the agreements on the most part related to economic development in the broader area of Pula and surrounding local communities.

"The agreements are supposed to help boost the development of entrepreneurship, institutions in business zones and revitalise cultural heritage or investments in brownfield locations," the minister said.

"We expect exceptional results from these six valuable projects related to the further development and promotion of entrepreneurship and strengthening the business climate," she underlined.

She in particular pointed out the agreement with the University of Pula and its further development of teaching and research activities. The Juraj Dobrila University will manage a project to repurpose a former navy hospital into a new academic centre in the city and the first phase of that project alone is worth HRK 20.7 million.

(€1 = HRK 7.57376)

Sunday, 18 October 2020

Croatia to Send its EU Funding Priorities to EC by End of June

ZAGREB, October 18, 2020  - Croatia will send by the end of June its list of priority areas for funding from the 2021-2027 funds to Brussels, Regional Development Minister Natasa Tramisak told Hina.

Next week, Commissioner for Cohesion Elisa Ferreira will meet with Minister Tramisak, and the European Commission (EC) will request that Croatia urgently send its list of priority areas for funding from the 2021-2027 funds.

The EC thinks that none of the 27 member states will adopt and send its plan by the end of March, and Croatia says it will send it by the end of June.

"Everything depends on the process of adopting the regulatory framework at the EU level. The negotiation process on the legislative framework, which regulates the use of 2021-2027 funds, has not yet been finished at the EU level," Tramisak said.

The European Commission wants to know what kind of projects Croatia wants to finance with the money from the joint budget in the next seven-year period. Until Croatia sends the document to Brussels, it will not be able to access €9.3 billion allocated to it.

With the cohesion policy, the EU aims to reduce disparities between rich and poor parts of the 27-country bloc.

In the 2014-2020 period, Croatia has contracted projects, the biggest of which is the construction of Peljesac bridge, absorbing the entire amount of €10.7 billion allocated for it in the EU budget. The projects can be realised by 2023, and to date about 36% has been paid out to users in Croatia.

In March 2019, the EC published a report saying that Croatia and other countris should as of 2021 use the funds to finance projects for digitalisation, green economy, connectivity, social affairs and getting closer to citizens. In September 2019, it held a meeting in Brussels with the then Regional Development Minister Marko Pavic, but a partnership agreement was not signed.

The partnership agreement would define Croatia's investment priorities.

Croatia still has time to presents its plan of priorities, said EC spokesperson for cohesion policy Vivian Loonela.

We are aware of the fact that Croatia faced difficult circumstances in 2020: the coronavirus pandemic, the presidency of the Council of the EU, mostly during a lockdown, the earthquake in Zagreb and parliamentary elections in July, she added.

Minister Tramisak did not say what Croatia's funding priorities would be, but she said that they would follow European priorities.

Croatia joined the EU in July 2013, and as the newest member was able to use funds during the entire seven-year period, from January 1, 2014 to the end of 2020. The partnership agreement for that period was concluded only on December 16, 2014.

In this phase (until January 1), there is no reason to speak of delay, Loonela said. In case there is a delay, and that European legislation and national programmes are not adopted by January 1, 2021, member states will be able to finance approved projects themselves, and will receive money from the EU budget later, she said.

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