FinMin says first EU funding from the €6.3bn package should come by late summer

NEWS 26.07.202119:25

Croatia expects to receive the first grants for the implementation of its recovery and resilience plan by the end of the summer and in the fall, Finance Minister, Zdravko Maric, said on Monday.

“We expect the initial grants for the National Recovery and Resilience Plan sometime in late August or early September, and then again in September and October. We are talking about €6.3 billion and we plan to absorb about 13% of that amount this year, which is slightly more than €800 million. The money should arrive in September and October,” Marić said.

Maric “underscored” the importance of meeting all the necessary criteria in the coming period, state agency Hina said. He also “recalled” that the National Recovery and Resilience Plan includes 76 reforms and 146 projects, Hina said.

“We are happy with the total amount given that €6.3 billion is nearly 12 percent of our GDP. We are also happy with the fact that the entire amount is coming from the European Union and that there is no national component,” Maric said.

This year, Croatia is expected to absorb €800 million and meet 34 basic requirements for withdrawing funds in the first half of 2022. Funds are absorbed twice a year.

Maric “underscored” that by mid-2023 Croatia could absorb nearly half of the total amount, namely 46 percent of the €6.3 billion, Hina reported.

“As a result, GDP will go up 1.5 percentage points,” Maric said, adding that “even more important would be the effect on the medium-term potential growth rate.”

Commenting on the process of introducing the euro, Maric said the government continued to advocate the original scenario of introducing it in 2023.

“It is looking good, we are taking one step at a time,” Maric said.

EU finance ministers on Monday confirmed the positive assessments of national recovery and resilience plans for another four member states, including Croatia, and initiated written procedure for their approval.

Since no decisions can be made at informal video meetings, written procedure was launched after the meeting to formally approve the national recovery and resilience plans of Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania and Slovenia. The procedure is expected to be completed within the next few days.

On 8 July, the Commission gave the green light to Croatia’s national recovery and resilience plan, worth €6.3 billion, and forwarded it to the Council for adoption.