The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a loan of EUR 200 million to Croatia to co-finance with the EU Commission the country’s EU Pre-Accession activities.
The EIB funds will help to implement investments totalling some EUR 800 million that will address the long-term needs of the Croatian economy and are expected to assist Croatia in meeting EU standards in a number of key sectors. The program includes priority investments in improved water supply, solid waste, railway infrastructure, regional competitiveness and human resource development.
This will be the first time that the EIB has financed such a broad programme in the accession phase, where the emphasis is to a large extent on project preparation and capacity-building with a view to future full EU membership.
This EIB co-financing with the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) will strengthen the co-operation with a future Member State and is expected to reinforce the absorption capacity for the considerable increase in EU funding expected after EU accession currently scheduled for 2012.
IPA replaces in Croatia various European Union programmes and financial instruments, e.g. PHARE and ISPA. It is made up of the following components:
• assistance for transition and institution-building;
• cross-border cooperation (with EU Member States and other countries eligible for IPA);
• regional development (transport, environment, regional and economic development);
• human resources (strengthening human capital and combating exclusion) and
• rural development
The mission of the EIB, the European Union’s bank promoting European objectives, is to contribute to the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the Member States by financing sound investment. In Croatia – an EU Acceding Country – the EIB supports investment projects that prepare the country for EU membership.
Since 2001 the EIB has provided loans in Croatia worth some EUR 2.4 billion, including the current loan. In 2010, the EIB has to date already lent a record EUR 484 million to projects in Croatia. The EIB’s lending portfolio in Croatia is very well balanced and covers all of the country’s economic sectors, ranging from basic infrastructure to manufacturing and services, including support for small and medium-sized companies through local financial institutions.