The European Commission adopted a 'Partnership Agreement' with Croatia setting down the strategy for the optimal use of European Structural and Investment Funds throughout the country in October 2014. The Operational Programme 'Competitiveness and Cohesion' for the period 2014-2020 was approved in December 2014 on the basis of which the utilisation of the allocated funds could commence. For the 2014-2020 period, Croatia was allocated €8.61 billion in total Cohesion Policy funding, including €4.3 billion for ERDF, €1.5 billion for ESF and €2.6 billion for the Cohesion Fund (CF). These funds will support the priorities set out in the Partnership Agreement and aimed to boost competitiveness, develop an environmentally friendly and a resource efficient economy, support active employment measures and fight against social exclusion.
The programme focuses on nine thematic objectives.
Almost 60% of the ERDF allocation is aimed at strengthening the economic competitiveness of the country. It will support national efforts to develop an innovation-driven economy, primarily by building up scientific excellence, encouraging research/development/innovation investment and technology transfer in the business sector. Next generation network (NGN) broadband will be further extended and e-public services developed. Competitiveness and innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises will be supported through increased entrepreneurship, better access to finance and the development of high quality business services.
In the transport sector, ERDF and the Cohesion Fund will strengthen the connectivity of the country and the regions to trans-European networks (railway, inland waterway and roads), support the modernisation of Dubrovnik airport, connect islands to the mainland, develop sustainable urban mobility in major cities, as well as improve road safety.
OPCC is co-financed from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF), while its strategy is based on the concentration of investments into nine thematic objectives (TO) of the Common Strategic Framework (and their specific investment priorities (IPs)), with further focus on specific objectives (SOs) to be achieved. Some OPCC actions are complemented by investments under OP Efficient Human Resources 2014-2020 (OPEHR), co-financed from the European Social Fund (ESF). The principle of supporting balanced regional development as a horizontal priority will also be applied.